Where have all the years gone? I keep thinking I’m going to find them at the bottom of a closet under a pile of shoes, some abstract piece of art representing the time that has passed. Because although I’m wiser, more sure-footed, I don’t feel the distance that I thought I would feel at this age. Distance from what, I don’t know. But the absence of that feeling makes me feel like life and death are closer friends than they’d like us to believe. Like I’m being tricked.
My best friend Christy lived next door. I spent the night at her house for two straight years while my mom and dad fought in their bedroom twenty feet from her garage. We’d put on our pajamas and lip sync to Wham! in the bathroom mirror until her mother marched upstairs and wagged her finger a little too close to my face, her New Jersey accent as heavy as booze on her breath.
“Yous bettah get in bed!”
Her father, a former professional football player, served in the Marines. They moved to Japan a few months after my parents divorced. I saw her once, 16 years later, but my memories were colored differently than her own. We didn’t have anything to talk about.
I was reading a passage in a linguistics textbook, junior year of college, when for the first time in my life I let myself disagree with my parents. It’s not a tenet in the Mormon religion to believe everything your parents believe, but my brain was wired to make that connection. I sat alone in my room underneath a wall covered in posters of Oasis and Blur, rolling over that disagreement in my head until I got dizzy and my life started to unravel. Again.
What else did I believe?
This whole post started with this thought: Thank God I never had to call my boss and tell her I couldn’t go into work because I woke up in a bed with Andy Dick and I was afraid someone would see me leaving his house.