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You said my boy in our casually forced conversation, which means you speak of someone I love. It must be one man in a mess of many that you gently turned my chin towards and though you kept talking and pointing, I remained fixed and the object of my affection became my boy.  Wouldn’t you agree?  That’s how things have happened with us.  You say look and I do out of love and I fall fast in love with things that are foreign to me.  None of my boys are really mine at all. Each one of them is a name on a long list of things that are yours, favorites that I have no stake in.  Favorites that stand on years of history, hometown ties, and annual celebrations and road trips.  I have two years of looking around, standing in the midst of things that aren’t mine, and that’s only if your math is generous.  When you gave me entitlement to your things, when you called this and that my boy, I rendered responsibility for loving them and though I’ll never leave it, it’s draining me. 

What you said was that my boy had a new album, but you said the wrong name. You named a blues crooner that plays a mean guitar who I like as much as the next, but who isn’t mine like these others you’d handed out like neighborhood watch fliers.  The flaky kind of like that I have for Culberson isn’t enough for me to hold white-knuckle ownership over his shows and music and this news of his new album and you know that. The boy you named was one on your list, surely, but not one you’d given to me. My boy was mine before the questions got hard and the days long and sad.  I liked his tatoo like yours, called it brave and clever the time we saw him play on a small stage in the city. 

I knew you spoke of Eric Lindell, but so many things flooded my mind that if I opened my mouth to correct you, I may have said Staal or Lang or any one of my boys besides for the one we both knew you meant.