It’s 2:39 am. I just finished reading Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield. I’ve been halfway watching Spanglish on the TV. I have 28 new MySpace messages, 23 of which need a reply.
How on earth can I possibly sleep when there are all these things around that want to talk to me?
The people who live in the condo next door – the one I can see out of my kitchen window – they have their lights on, too. This makes me like them.
Love is a Mix Tape was pretty great. It’s a bit like High Fidelity, except it’s true. And instead of a break-up with Laura, this Rob is dealing with the death of Renee. I completely related to Rob’s pain, even though my Renee didn’t die. It feels like he did sometimes. This is the stuff you think about at 3 in the morning.
This weekend I finally mapped out my new five mile route. I love five mile walks. It feels like a journey, even though you’re just going in a big circle. I like to bring my phone and catch up with my friends. I love my friends. They’re all over the place and I miss them. I like having an hour or so to catch up with people I love.
Yesterday’s walk was absolutely beautiful. It had just finished raining and I was walking though the park and there were fireflies everywhere. I really wanted to share that moment with somebody. I called a few of my favorite walking buddies (Mark, Liz, Josh, Grandma) but no one was home. That’s always a crappy feeling.
So I called Pammy, and as soon as she picked up the phone she exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so glad it’s you! I was just thinking about you!” That’s always the best feeling.
She asked me all about my life and I asked her about hers, and I made her describe her son and she gushed about him to the point where I almost cried. She asked me advice. I asked her advice. We gossiped and spilled serious beans. We laughed. When we hung up, she said it again: “I’m SO SO SO glad you called.”
I walk by the graveyard twice on this new route. Ra grew up next door to the cemetery, so I’ve been hanging out there since I was six. We used to run around in the field, cut through there on our way to buy candy, or explore the names and dates on the graves.
When I passed it for the last time yesterday, there was a car leaving. I’m not afraid of the graveyard at all. It’s the safest place to ride my bike, the best place to watch fireworks, and on nice nights I can sit under a tree and finish my chats before heading home. But those cars – especially cars with old people – they really get to me. Dead people don’t bother me, at least not the ones underground. It’s the people they leave behind that give me the chills.
I miss having Liz, Pammy and Ra in my daily life. I need those girls. It breaks my heart that I don’t have time to visit them. And although I’m happy for them, it almost breaks my heart that they all met boys and moved far away to be with them. That’s was something I could have done, too. I could have done that first. I could have done that twice. But I passed it up, which is a decision I’ll regret for the rest of my life.
That’s another thing I do when I am awake. Because if I had moved for that boy I would be asleep right now. That was the only time in my life that I slept – I slept completely sober, safe and sound. Effortlessly. I miss that. I miss my best friends, and I miss being able to sleep, and I still miss him. A lot.
If Ra, Pammy and Liz were here right now, we would be sipping wine coolers and chain-smoking on my parents back porch. Liz would hug me and say “awww, poor sneffie head” over and over. Pammy would give the perfect reaction to anything I said (“He did WHAT?”) and then she would say something wise and profound, which she has been doing since age 11. Ra would basically just call me “retarded” for missing him, and of course, she would be right.
I mean, other friends from that era are still around, but they’re all boys and they all have wives or girlfriends. They are not allowed on the back porch at night anymore. They can’t be a walking buddy. Innocent things become off limits – not for an actual reason, but just out of respect. I’m not going to fight it. It sucks, but I understand.
At least I still have Jen. Jen and I packed a lifetime’s worth of memories into the first four months of our friendship. Jen knows why I miss him. Jen just kind of rocks in general and so does her husband, and their cats, and their friends, and their advice and stories and big hearts and everything.
Tonight (for it is officially Monday) I get to walk to Jen’s house. Those are the best walks – the ones where I’m walking to someone or from somewhere.
Usually I’m just walking in circles, forever trying to catch up with people I’ll never fully reach again.