Because every time something reminds me of the time when I lived there, my chest aches.
I miss you, Austin.
I miss the friends I made there. I miss the guy for whom all food is Mexican. I miss the redhead with the unruly toddler who asked me, “did you smell my toot?” I miss the die-hard bargain shopper who loves all things lemon and tea. I miss the guy who showed me “too many colors!” I miss the kitchen ninja who made my hair become strands of many hues. I miss that lovely blonde girl who autographed my boobie. I miss the unruly, late-night-TC-eating, prankster. I miss she of the ripped skirt. I miss them all.
I miss hating, loving, and being challenged by my job. I miss my bosses, my employees, and my customers. (I also kind of don’t miss my bosses or my customers. There were moments, okay?) I miss late night floor changes that made me want to rip my face off, followed by late night drinking with co-workers, where I generally laughed what was left of my face off. I miss being late to work, because it meant I had a schedule. I miss being a part of the outside world.
I miss Pastor Jeff and his Hawaiian shirts. I miss how he looks kind of like Phil Jackson, but in a cuddly, teddy bear way. I miss being a greeter at church and holding the door for people. I miss the feeling of being in the place where I was baptised.
I miss our large dog in the backyard who used to chew pieces of our house off when he got bored. I miss the way he was over 100lbs, but The Mexican, at 5lbs, was in charge of him. Because he was a gentle giant. I miss how when we first got them both as puppies, they drove me crazy until I thought I would rip all my hair from my head. I miss the way they used to play together and bring me endless joy.
I miss giggling like a school girl, but then kind of throwing up in my mouth a little, as we passed by Hippie Hollow on our way to other spots along Lake Travis. I miss playing at the lake all day and then sipping a margarita on the deck of The Oasis. I miss feeling sun drunk and heady, sitting on that deck, set into the side of the cliff, as I stared into John’s eyes while the sun set over the water right below us. I miss the way they used to ring the bell right at the moment the sun slipped below the horizon, and how everyone in the whole place clapped.
I miss celebrating the sunset with strangers.
I miss living in the house we owned together… young, careless, stupid. I miss late-night partying and reckless behavior. I miss deciding to sleep until noon, just because it felt so cuddly in his embrace. I miss going out just for doughnuts at 2am if we felt like it. I miss taking my youth for granted. I miss being carefree.
I miss my garden. I miss being able to dig up whatever part of the yard I damn well pleased and plant anything my heart desired there. I miss the lime tree I planted just so that I’d never have a Corona in my hands that lacked a lime. I miss living where a lime tree would actually thrive.
I miss Taco Cabana. Whataburger. Kerbey Lane. CHUYS. (I would kill a man with my bare hands right now for that creamy jalapeno dip.)
I miss this guy quite a lot:
I miss bare-foot weather 361 days of the year and more blue skies with puffy clouds than you can dream.
I miss the way you look, the way you feel, and who I was when I was with you, Austin.
I could go on, but what’s the point, really?
I miss you, Austin.
I wonder if you miss me.