Things I Wish I'd Said to M--

by Epiphany Ferrell

They say you can't outrun your problems but I don't know, it's worked for me so far. Eventually you have to deal with it, but later, later. 

You know how they say “it'll get better?” It'll at least get different, I can promise you that. You turn 18, you can leave this town. Get your high school diploma, your GED, whatever, and leave. You can always come back if you want to. 

I love your sense of humor. But I see the darkness there. Takes one to know one.

There's a plein air landscape painting class this summer. You should sign up for it. Meet some new people, some artists. Some older people. People not from around here. Gain a new perspective — about yourself, the wider world, your place in the wider world. And even a new perspective on the landscape itself. Maybe you'll find some other meaning in it. 

Your mom loves you. 

Remember that time I was driving around the corner and you were walking the dog in the middle of the road? You were walking the dog and you seemed carefree. Melancholy, but carefree. That makes no sense, but it's true. Or maybe I'm just nostalgic for the way I used to be. 

It's kind of a shitty little town, you know? Don't let it get you down. 

God I used to hate it when I was your age, a little younger, and people would say to me, “One day it won't matter so much.” Why, just because you are passionless and apathetic and more concerned about how well your lawn fares against the neighbor's than about anything that matters? That won't be me! And it's not. 

But I won't say you are so young. I wish you'd give yourself a chance to see the wider world, though. To be an adult at least. 

Was he your first love? First love is so special. So pure. You love with all you have because you don't know any better. You've never survived heartbreak so you truly can't imagine living through it. You don't know how you possibly could. Treasure that first love. And that first heartbreak. Don't let it be the last thing. Let it be a memory. 

I wish I'd said these things. 

Anything other than what I did say.