This is for you, my first crush… I learned to ride a skateboard because of you, just to get your attention.
This is for you, my first kiss… My brother’s best friend. I was 12. You took me to see Alien in the theater. I don’t know how or why my parents let this happen.
This is for you, Led Zeppelin IV… My first album. The Battle of Evermore still sounds so totally magical.
This is for you, my first boyfriend… Every time I meet someone with your name, I melt a little inside. You drove a red Mustang, and you looked like Jim Morrison.
This is for you, Angel… My idol. I met you when I was 12; you were the most beautiful woman with the most beautiful smile who ever lived.
This is for you, my first love… You’re there when I see the ocean, when I hear the clanking sound of the boats and when I see the flashing green light across the bay. I’ve sat on that pier for hours, watching… “Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away…” I didn’t know what I was doing, or what love really was. All I knew is you made me feel alive. Thanks to you, I became a writer.
This is for you, Balboa Island… I sit on my corner, and stare out where the sky meets the murky water, and think about my life. Everything worth writing about happened to me on that island.
This is for you, Valley boy. You took me somewhere one night, a place that ended up being very important in my life. It was somewhere in the valley, and I’ll never find it again, but my life turned out the way it did because of you and that place.
This is for you, painter… I should’ve known not to get involved with an artist. I still have your masterpiece.
This is for you, bartender… I should’ve known better, period.
This is for you, Italian… You taught me how to not take no for an answer. And how to watch my back. Bronx style.
This is for you, my old friend… I wish we were closer. We’ve known each other since we were 14.
This is for you, San Francisco… Cold and foggy, not the kind of place I ever thought I’d fall in love with. There’s nothing like walking the streets, passing all the restaurants and bars and bookstores where people eat and drink and read and interact instead of fear and ignore, where the chill in the air is nothing less than biting and the taxis are honking and steam is rising up through the grates.
This is for you, Ro… I miss you. I miss writing, and playing guitar, and buying candles and fabric and dead animal tails. You sat with me on the balcony while my mother was dying, you were with me all day the day I got married, and next to me for some much other dumb stuff. Thank you for your heart.
This is for you, Cat… You’ve come a long way, baby, and you and your life are beautiful. Thank you for showing me it’s possible, because I really thought it wasn’t.
This is for you, J… Two people never laughed so much. Thank you for being my friend for life. Never cut your hair.
This is for you, Chris… Stay strong, baby. Freedom awaits.
This is for you, brother… I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I’m so lucky I got to grow up with you. And it’s not because of your cute friends or your Beatles records. It’s because you are the Jimmy Stewart of big brothers, one of the most decent, kind, unbelievable human beings I know.
This is for you, Dad… I miss the twinkle in your eye. You would’ve loved to get to know my husband. Thank you for everything you gave us, mostly my island. You’re part of it now.
This is for you, Mom… You were beautiful, Kid, as Dad would’ve said. You don’t have to miss him anymore. Please know I’m happy and I’m OK.
This is for you, Lover… Marrying you was the best thing I ever did. You’re my world, my heart, the love of my life. Happy five month anniversary. I love you baby.
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