I think it’s times like this I’ll miss when I’m old.

A stream of consciousness~

The 6 year old “new” car smells of peppermint, as the familiar crack of my mother’s teeth on a mento is followed by the succeeding noise of the paper tube shuffling to let one into my father’s palm.

The punk sounds of my music enter my left ear, while the same classic rock my dad has been listening to for years enters my right. My mom fiddles with the radio to keep him up with the times and lands on the currently popular Lizzo song, as she promptly follows the orders of the lyrics by flipping her hair and checking her nails, and of course, “feeling good as hell.”

My headphones lie cockeyed on my head as I can feel the dull pain of my freshly pierced right ear against the pushed back piece of plastic. My ears ingesting two different things, my eyes gobbling up pages and pages of a book I hated but now am ravenously consuming before my book club meeting on Sunday; out of requirement and because the main character reminds me of my best friend who I miss.

Leaving my brother in state 1 to pack up his main life in a matter of a couple of days, saying goodbye to some people I know he loves very much and won’t see for a while, passing through state 2 where two of my close friends and past roommates live, entering state 3 where I have lived for all almost 23 years of my life. It’s grey out, the only color I can spot as I look up is the potent cerulean blue of the rest stop signs that perfectly match the cover of the book in my lap. When I was little I thought rest stops only existed in other states, because we never needed to visit one on Long Island because we lived there. I thought a lot of things when I was little. I’m realizing a lot of things recently, some good, some funny, some ridiculous. I often express them out loud, and when people don’t identify, it just solidifies my growing thought that everyone has such a unique and ever changing perception of the world.

My mother changes the radio station from an Ariana Grande song to a channel with commercials. It takes my father 30 seconds to realize, as his main focus is and should be on the road. He points out a horse on the fast passing farmland next to us, and I can feel my lips pull apart in a slight smile. My eyes well up as I watch the skinny bare trees wiz past, knowing that I’ll never be in this exact moment again. But then again, that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it?

You’d think people think about the big accomplishments in their lives as their greatest moments. I don’t discount or invalidate that, but there are moments I hold really near and dear to my heart I don’t think everyone would take a second glance at. Sometimes I can feel the wind whipping through my fingers, praying my rings wouldn’t fall off, rain water dripping onto my palm, looking at the cliffs of the Hawaiian landscape. Sometimes I think about the way the skin next to my brother’s eyes crinkle up when he laughs with his whole body instead of just his nose, at something no one else ever would think would merit that, but to him it does. Sometimes I think about my father reading on the living room couch, kindly petting the dog he didn’t want, who has nudged himself so close he might as well be sitting on his lap, and I wonder what stories are unfolding in his head from the words on the page. Sometimes when my mother leaves me a cup of half finished coffee, I think about being wrapped up in our old beige knitted blanket, at 6am, on the old armchair in my parents bedroom, when she would give me a cup of 1 tbsp coffee, 4 tbsp creamer, and I would cherish every drop of her generosity to allow a mere child such a delicacy. Sometimes I think about a moment of clarity I had while my hair was free in the wind of an Oregon highway, thousands of pine trees for the eyes to witness with wonder, thinking if there were that many pine trees there were so many other ways my life could be from how it is now. 

Lady Gaga’s “Alejandro” blares in my right brain, and Simple Mind’s “Don’t You” lightly tugs on my left brain’s nostalgia. I put down my tiny lettered phone to pick up my large type book. I think about one of my best friend’s sunny day working remotely in Florida, compared to my grey, many miles day in Massachusetts. I find sometimes, that I long for the opposite of what I currently have. As I push back my chin length hair that annoyingly hangs in my face, I think that although life has a lot of stark contrasts, there are a lot of in betweens. I’m trying to learn to appreciate how long my hair has gotten, from nothing to something, and while it’s great to think about how long it will get, I’m learning to try to love it in the middle. Life would be really really sad if you were only in love with the blacks and the whites, because more often than not, you’re landed somewhere on the grey spectrum. I’m finding that the greys are pretty great too.

-18:13, 3/19/20, in the back of my parents Mazda CX-5, on Merritt Parkway South, in Rye Brook, CT.

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