Have you ever seen a photograph of yourself, then realized it wasn’t you? Wrong age for that date, wrong continent.

Hey Rachel from back then. We share a name. I would not bother to mention it, but you looked a lot like I did when I was your age. The way you tilted your head and almost smiled. I was older than you in the eighties; already in High School troubling the nuns, and you look like you were only about seven. Maybe you were small for your age, me too. 

So other Rachel… is Hamlin, West Virginia coal country? My family were coal mining people. On the other side of the ocean, but coal is coal wherever it gets dug up. My parents both got out before they even met. By the eighties our collieries were being closed and those old uncles were coughing themselves into lengthy silences. I guess you know how that goes. You, with your quiet eyes.

I had a sweater like yours too, soft and floppy; always ended up getting the cuffs wet and my wrists would get chaffed raw, did yours? I almost never wore a skirt though, always jeans. It looks pretty on you. Did you get tangles and cry while your grandmother brushed them out. Me too Rachel, me too.


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