A NOTE TO MY EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD SELF

Dear Wally,

How’s it going?
You’re having a growth spurt,
and for what it’s worth, it looks
good on you. Although, that mustache

really doesn’t. You need a hair cut,
and to raise yourself out of your rut.
You’re a smart guy who could be a wise guy
if your debilitating shyness would let you.

Forget you had a crush on those girls
who would think you were invisible,
forget that they never thought of you at all.
Trust me, you will fall deeply in love

in another year, though you never dated anyone.
You were a good son, and you showed your compassion
and thankfully didn’t share your father’s sense of fashion.
He had none. You were adept at music, had gotten sick

with mono before you graduated. You waited to develop
a personal style until after the dentist fixed your smile,
two chipped front teeth your curse. It wasn’t the worst.
Those silly songs you composed, and poems you painfully

penned? Put them away and save them for another day.
They will come in handy. You are a dandy with expressions,
and I have this confession. As much as I hated you back then,
I find now we could have been friends if I would have let us.

The people who ignore you now will find you fascinating.
People from around the world will come to know your name,
and the fame you dream of achieving will come in some form,
if you believe me. I carry a spark of you with me to this day, and I wanted to say,

“You’re Okay”. The next few years will be rough, but hang tough.
You’ll get through with flying colors. A few times you’ll almost die
and wish you were dead, but put those thoughts from your head.
Think of this instead, you’re a good man, you’ll be a great father,

you will finally be loved for who you are and be a star in any life
you are in. It’s a sin I couldn’t have been there to tell you this in person.
I’m proud of who you are and glad I had gotten to know you finally.
And one more thing, I am honored to have been you.

All my best for your future successes,

Sincerely, Walt!

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