Living in the Past
9:46 a.m. - 2007-06-07
The plane had touched down just a few minutes before, and my best friend and I were excited to begin our vacation.
Behind the airport counter was a girl that I remembered from the sorority I was in for one semester in college. (How out of touch with myself was I to possibly think that I could fit in a sorority?) A woman that I used to teach with came up to me and started talking to us. The whole situation seemed totally surreal, and then my phone rang.
I groaned and rolled over, hand fumbling on the nightstand beside the bed for the cordless. I clicked the "Talk" button.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Well, I WAS sleeping. Why do you always call at the buttcrack of dawn?"
"Oh my god. It's 8:30. NORMAL people are up by now. They have to go to WORK. Not everyone gets to sit at home on their ass and watch t.v. all day."
"T.V. Hah. You're funny. Come take care of Ali for one day and see how much sitting and t.v. watching you get to do."
"Women just have it made. I so wish I was a woman. Find a man to take care of me, have his babies, and stay home with them all the time. Do you know how jealous I am of you?"
Now, under any other circumstances, I'd have come UNGLUED on anyone who talked to me like that. Suggesting that I don't *do* anything because I'm staying at home with my child is akin to suggesting that deep down in my heart I'm really a right-wing Republican. It's about the worst thing you could possibly say to me. But the person on the other end of the phone was my best friend in the entire world, my cousin. We've known each other practically since birth. No topic is taboo, nothing is off limits.
Once the conversation progressed past us just picking at one another, I realized that there really were some things going on with him that he needed to talk about. He and his partner of 5 years are having some serious problems, and their "mutual friends" up there are of absolutely no help to him, because they've already picked a definite side in the situation, and it's not his.
"You know, some of the fondest memories I have are of us sitting on your old bed, reading Seventeen magazine and messing with our hair. Do you think I'll ever be able to get that feeling back?"
"Well...no, of course you can't have that feeling again. We're not fourteen anymore, W. Nothing in our lives will ever be that simple again, but that doesn't mean that our lives aren't *good* anymore. They're just more complicated, more complex. We have grown up things to worry about now."
"But I just want to feel that way again! Maybe I need to go buy a Seventeen and see what it says about relationship problems."
I cracked up laughing. "Somehow I don't think the answers there are going to be what you're looking for now."
"Yeah, the magazine just isn't as good as it used to be."
Nothing ever is.