You Never Know When It's the Last Time


By James Gummer

When I was a kid, I liked coming up with adventures for my Star Wars figures. I do regret creating so many passionate trysts for Luke and Leia since they turned out to be brother and sister and all. That’s sort of creepy.

But any adventure seemed to need some sexual tension to balance it out. I wonder if Carrie Fisher ever thought about how many times her action figure was defiled and if it led to any of her chemical dependency issues.

Looking back, I didn't know which time would be the last time that I'd play with my Star Wars toys. One day, I just didn't do it anymore. It took a while for me to even notice that I had stopped.

Change can be sneaky like that.

Maybe if I had known the last time was the last time, I'd have enjoyed it more, savored it.

Relationships can be tricky. I didn't catch the exact moment when my girlfriend's eyes surrendered to that sad, vacant look of tolerance. But it did happen.

And she and I couldn't go back.

If I'd have known which were the last moments of that spark of wonder, the joy, the acceptance, I'd have burned them deeper into my memory. That's what I work on now. I try to only remember the really fun times.

I don't need to focus on the negative.

Not this time.

I've also made a promise to myself to cherish the simple, lovely times before they're gone. I'll cherish them in my next relationship, and I'll cherish them when the puppy keeps going in the god damned trash can and taunting me to chase him as he runs around the room with a mouthful of coffee grounds and used paper towels.

Someday I'll watch him breathe for the last time, like I did the dog that loved me before him.

And I'll cry again.

And I'll wish he was still here.

But maybe I'll start locking up the trash can.

writer photo

James Gummer

James has no idea what’s going on and is learning to be okay with that. He writes in Baltimore, Maryland where he also teaches drumming, qigong, and meditation.

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