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Most of us have our past realities, our past lifetimes, images of ourselves that are very different than what we see as ourselves today. These images which are thought of now and then, but not as if it was my own life or my own self, but as if I'm watching a documentary displaying someone else's life. Things I did and things I didn't do which contrast so deeply with things I would do or not do now. I even find it intriguing to go back and imagine those lifetimes or picking up an old notebook and being mesmerized by the words written by my own hand only years before. Ideas, thoughts, and feelings that were felt within this same body, within this same mind and this same heart, by the same person, and yet somehow different.

Every Monday night when I go to class I bump into my old drug dealer. He gives me a hug and we chat about our lives. His is still the same, perhaps a little better as he is going to school, but otherwise still the same. It feels wrong talking to him, having a past reality mingle with the present. He doesn't fit into my present reality at all, as if he's an outsider trying to shove his way back in, and through my laughing words I attempt to shove him out.

Tonight the phone rang and on the other end was my high school boyfriend. Nothing new, he calls me often when he's drunk, proclaiming his love, wanting to see me. "It's been 6 years," I tell him, "everything has changed." But he persists anyway, asking when we're to be married, desperately sure one day I'll realize we're meant to be. I feel myself getting angry at him, angry at intruding on my life which would not be recognizable if put beside my life then. The anger turns to sadness, though, sad that I thought I was stuck in a limbo unable to escape for so many years, and knowing he's been stuck in his own limbo, still unable to escape after all this time.

It's good to think of the past, a sentimental remembrance of ourselves and those who touched our lives or distorted them. But it becomes uncomfortable when those past selves intrude on the present, an unwelcomed clash.

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