Dear You,

Emily Cashour
7 min readMay 21, 2021
Photo by Daniel Burka on Unsplash

In a cash only dive bar in New York City, I scratched the tables with my nails and sipped a PBR. The light was dark and comforting, the air inside was warm, and as I opened my mouth, words fell out as if I had no control over them. It was days after Christmas, I had forgotten what it felt like to be truly accosted by the weather outside. I took quick little sips of beer, and I missed you.

I remember what it felt like to sit in a car next to you and laugh, the corners of our eyes crinkling in the same way, and me feeling like the smartest girl in the world, the cleverest little thing for saying whatever I had just said. Sometimes, on the way from my mom’s house to yours, we stopped at a little hot dog stand, and got crinkle-cut fries and soft serve ice cream, sitting to eat it at a picnic table next to a ceramic hotdog, one of those things that feels like it’s been around for decades for the way the color has faded and the painted-on smile has chipped a bit. I loved you, adored you for the ways I saw myself manifested in your interests. When I was little, everything you told me felt like a secret, somehow more adult because it was coming from you. When you shared things I was old enough to understand as problems, I felt valued, and mature, and like I could help you. Like you could take the parts of your life that made you nauseous, and you could change them, and I would have helped.

I remember when we went to Germany. I spent a lot of time alone, reading and writing voraciously. I read The Poisonwood Bible in three days, wrote a story about a dog in love with its owner from the dog’s perspective. Every morning we ate bread with jam and butter, I learned to force down macaroni salad, I ate potatoes and schnitzel at every opportunity. I loved the way the potatoes crunched, and then became soft, not like a chip, or like a french fry. I loved the tart wetness of a lemon squeezed on crispy fried pork. How much schnitzel could I eat, we joked. I still haven’t had enough.

The first time I got drunk was when I was sixteen in Germany. We sat outside at tables in the sunshine, and I drank rose until my face was warm from smiling. Everyone was speaking German, and I didn’t understand a word of it. But I watched your face closely, loved the way your eyebrows raised and fell with your words, laughed when you did because I couldn’t help but react as you did. You were…

Emily Cashour

27 year old writer & graduate student, passionate about storytelling as a great equalizer. I’d love to hear from you!!