Summer Skins

I’ve spent my summer in a happy bubble.  The past few months have been an incredible mix of adventure, independence and a lot of time spent with the best folks this town has to offer.  There’s something uniquely gratifying in creating a space of your own and choosing to fill it with people who make you happy.  There’s something inexplicably wonderful about running around all night, going to bed after the sun rises, getting up for a full day of work just a few hours later, and not even considering a complaint.

I think that, in college especially, your friends become your family.  And nothing in college has been as good as having family dinners- and making them vegan because it only takes one vegan to mess up an entire meal!, waking up early to eat breakfast at a restaurant (and having a Bloody Mary with it, because I guess you may as well start early), and riding bicycles to the river and slipping on jagged rocks in the ashy water.

Nothing has been as good as climbing out windows, sprawling in grass, running through sprinklers in the moonlight, watching clouds roll past from rooftops.  Everyone is in love and I’m in love with listening to my pals tipsily confess just how much their ladies complete them—oh, what precious friends I have.  Learning how to throw a punch (making a valiant effort to learn, at least), smashing a discarded desk into kindling, knitting in a circle,  finding myself to be the ONLY lady in a bar, dashing through sudden downpours… all of it was great.

It wasn’t perfect.  There were a handful of vaguely uncomfortable talks about feelings with boys- which makes me sound like some sort of hussy, which is a thing I am not.  Though I did- for the first and hopefully last time in my life!- find myself on the receiving end of the nastiest looks from a jealous gal…god that was weird.  But even when I found myself feeling slightly used… all of it was silly and fun and a felt like an integral part of growing up.  (Like.  I can’t even blame anyone for using me.  Have you seen me??  I’d use me, too.  People can’t help but want to make out with this!  …that was a joke.) Even the most imperfect moments, the ones that hurt and felt impossible to navigate were part of the greatness.  Perfection isn’t really a thing we should aim for, anyway.

The parade of end-of-July-goodbyes have lent an unbearable (but we’re made to brave it) heaviness to my torso.  I feel like there is a boulder dangling from a string in my chest, and the thread is fraying. Reality is thrumming loudly, screaming to be acknowledged.  Graduate school is looming.  I have an enormous list of expenses to be addressed.  (Contacts, bike tubes, oil changes, haircuts, grown-up clothing, etc.)  I know I have to pay attention to those things now, and fall back into the routine of sleepless stress that defines my semesters.  But these few months have been like peaches, soft and sweet and sticky at times.  If we play that metaphor out, I guess we’ve reached the pit.  The best parts are over, but I have a multitude of great memories.

I think I fell in love with every one of you, every moment.

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