much of high school was spent being in cars. there was not much to do in the suburbs so some nights we would hop in someone’s car and drive around town.
while it wasn’t good for the environment, it was good for our souls.
being in a car was freedom. no longer relying on parents to drive you anywhere. you had the world at your disposal and by world i mean the local mall and your closest friends houses. there was something freeing about the wind in your hair, the friends you’ve know your whole life, like a weight lifted off of your shoulders. laughing so hard your stomach cramps.
feeling invincible. it was always late at night. the rest of your small town fast asleep while the car is awake and alive, blasting show tunes and singing at the top of your lungs.
there was community in the car. now i live in the city where we take buses and trains everywhere. when i see my close friends from high school it’s not in a car it’s on facetime where i don’t see the traffic lights glinting off of their foreheads. i don’t see the wind whipping their hair like an unruly hair dryer, their eyes crinkling when they smile. their face appears uniform and two-dimensional on my four-inch tall screen. their laughs come through the audio cracked and flat, not glowing and euphoric.
in the city, i sit on the subway with “friends” i have only known for a few months. who i’ll never have the same bond as i will with people i was friends with during the most painful and awkward stages of life. our small talk whisps like cigarette smoke, disperse and disappear into the cavernous train car. when my friends and i divulged in our toyota corollas and suburu outbacks our words spewed strong and warm and wrapped us like a tight hug. they would cling to us when we shared stories and memories and secrets and linger on us like strong perfume.
when we were dropped off at the end of the night, we poked our heads in our parents bedroom as confirmation of our living breathing bodies, and then fell soundly asleep. dreaming about being a 20 something, unable to grasp or appreciate the joy these moments will bring to you years later as you ache to remember.
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