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Further Phoenix
at Rio's Attic:

Stand By Me

My Own Private Idaho
Rio's Attic: Celebrating the Life and Times of a Dearly Missed River Phoenix

Last year, around October, I found you again.

For some reason, completely out of the blue, I felt I needed to know you.  I think I had just watched "My Own Private Idaho" and "Stand By Me," and suddenly, after years resting at the back of my thoughts, I began to think about you more and more.  I was 17, and old enough to know what was going on in my life, and what most things that happened to me actually meant.  It wasn't like before though, I wasn't just attracted to you, or another countless admirer of your work.  At the time I was going through an incredibly difficult phase of my life, and I know you'd probably be disappointed in me for saying it, but I still haven't moved on, and I feel worse, in fact.  Something was, is, happening to me and my life, but I still don't know what.  I was, and still am, questioning what I was meant to do with my life and who I thought I was.  It was as though there was something missing, something that I needed  to do with my life and that I needed to be a completely different person.  I remembered the way you used to make me feel when I was feeling down or that life wasn't going the way I wanted it, and so I turned to you, I needed to know you and wanted to make you a part of my life, and perhaps, I hoped, you would somehow show me which direction to go, now that I had lost my way.

I started learning about you, mostly through the Internet, as it was the only way I could.  The more I learnt about you the more sad, happy, proud, angry and completely conflicted I became.  I never knew where or what you had come from, what your life had been like, and I could not even begin to understand what you were about, I don't think I even dared.  The more I felt I had  learned  about you, the less I felt I knew you.  But I knew more and more that you were someone I needed in my life, that you would be able to understand me and help me in leaving behind my warring selves, that you would listen, comfort and heal, and that you would be the most important person in my life.

I think I know as much as I could ever know about you but I am more sad, and angry, than ever, because I can never know you, because I will never sit next to you and listen to you sing whilst strumming your guitar, or ever hear you tell me your secrets or that I was important to you, or watch you and dream whilst you sleep, I will never get to hold you and comfort you when you need a friend, or watch the sun rise over the hills, share with you your life, and offer mine up to you in return, and because I will never be able to tell you, River, that I think I love you and that I am in love with the person that you are...God, River, I need you more now than I have ever needed anyone...

You have shown me and taught me so much.  Because of you, I have, even at my most down or disheartened, been able to open my eyes and see the world, and life, in a completely new and special way, in a way that very few people can see.  You could see life and  the world in a way that most of us never will, you knew in your heart what we are and what our place is in this whole big picture.

I want to live in the way you have shown me, be the person you wanted us all to be, live my life the way I ought to;  I want to help save this planet that we are raping and butchering, I want to become a better person, as only you see it, I want to understand all the things you stood for and held most dear to your heart, and I want, like you, to be able to share all this with everyone else and show them all the things you have shown me...but I don't think I can, River, I don't think I can do it alone, I need you to help me, show me and guide me...I don't think I am the strong or special or loving person that you always were, I just don't think I can, even though I want to more than anything...if you can hear me River, show me, help me, make me the person I need to be...I can't do this without you.

I don't even know you, but I miss you and need you more than anything else...

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