The past is never the past because it's never gone. No. The past catches you off guard as you round the corner one day and bump into him and his new life hanging off his arm. And the past is there every morning and every afternoon as you ride past his house on the streetcar, sometimes daring to peer into a bedroom that still looks the way it did so long ago when you thought of it as your own, too.
But the past is more than just the physical recurrences of him stamped across this city. It's more than just the way your hands sweat at the mere sight of any and every lanky boy with brown hair dressed in a heather grey tee. It's not just because you still refuse, after all this time, to wait at the corner of College and Spadina in fear that you may round the corner and bump into him and his new life again. The past isn't even just tied to him. There are so many pasts of so many boys following you around that they all become one in the end.
And the past plagues and will never disappear because it can never actually go anywhere. At twenty-four, it's much too late. The past is the present and it becomes easiest to remember everything bad and forget all that was good. And because of those long talks that never fixed a thing and all that was wrong and whatever you felt too much or too little of, you promise yourself you'll never let the past become the future again. And all the while you're trying to figure out if this is possible or not, you sit with walls up and everything securely tucked away.