Adult world, adult problems.
Lauren and I sat in the grass outside Longmeadow, smoking and reminiscing.
I had a dream that night that I asked her, “Aren’t you sad that you’re never going to come back to this place?” I suppose that I was really asking myself that.
Woke up and smoked in the fort, lit up by little twinkly lights, decorated with old photographs and tiny embroideries and drawings, and talked about the times we really, truly wanted to leave this planet for good. It’s pretty fucking scary, really, the bad places the mind can stray off.
We both worried about the immediate future.
“I’m so sad most of the time. It’s hard to get anything done. And I’m scared to venture out on my own, scared as hell. I have a support net at least, but barely. What if I fuck up?”
“How do I deal with my mom? She just doesn’t get that I am gay. Really really gay. I LOVE women and they LOVE me. This is who I am!”
Maura came in and distracted us both from the dark, heavy stuff. We baked bread and went for a walk.
A lazy afternoon drinking wine and writing, looking out at the mountains.
That we went to a weird party. Lauren hadn’t been much into the party scene in awhile but tonight it was fun instead of depressing.
“Isn’t this the saddest group of 22-year-olds you’ve ever seen?!”
We observed our friends and weird frenemies who were now our friends in shared misery alternately dancing and mourning and singing along to old favorites (“Say it ain’t so”, a totally irony-free singalong to “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates — everyone in the room except us knew the words, so funny, they were all NYC/LI prep school kids though) and their own bands songs, smash hits for 30 people. “God, I LOVE it, they’re such dorks!” My glasses were sacrificed to a Shellac sing along, when Peter gleefully leapt onto the piano yelling, “Kill him, FUCKING kill him!”
“How did this even become a thing? This is all so silly!”
A girl who I’d always hated in a mean, fun, but mostly mean way because one of my friends had a fling with her four years prior, invited us up for a cigarette. The least likely group of people hanging out in the immediate area, that much was certain, and yet we were all vibing. Mothers and expectations that could not be met and shouldn’t matter despite being adults but still did, fear of failure, fear of stagnation, that sort of thing. Cigarettes burned to the filters. I’m neither romantic nor habitual when it comes to smoking but sometimes it just feels right. We burned and parted ways.
A strange dénouement to a period of time that sort of lulled on longer than it probably should have.
We took the time to take a walk back down to the lawn and sat admiring the view, now cleared of the anxious fog that used to surround it. I remember walking around and being so sad in such a beautiful place. How weird, six years ago was so long ago.
When it was all over, when the furniture was back in place and the drawings were scrubbed off the walls, I couldn’t find anyone. Lauren and Maura headed off into town. I got some scotch tape from the security guard and taped my glasses back together and drove off.
On the drive back, I admired the mountains along Route 9. “How nice to be driving through here, it’s so beautiful here!” I didn’t start to panic until the engine heat level appeared to dip going down a hill where my old car had overheated and nearly caught on fire, and this time Jared wasn’t following behind me. Nothing is scarier than being stranded indefinitely with expensive repairs that will cost at least a month’s wages… But no, I was lucky. It was only the glare on my glasses, an anxious distortion of perception.
Lauren gleefully singing along to a friend’s pop-punk song (and I generally loathe pop-punk but this one is triumphant and fun):
“Farewell to arms! I’m going home! To see my friends and take my throne! The war is won and I WILL SEE YOUUU LATER!”