And everything is going wrong. I am scared to pick up my phone, afraid to say the wrong thing to anyone, even worse, afraid that I will be forgotten by everyone I have ever known. It all just seems to be coming down, while the anxiety is building up. I am starting to forget what happiness feels like. Stress sits in my throat like bile.
So I take myself away. I bring myself out of the city, away from the crowds and the texts and the problems I can't fix or can't face. I go back to where my home is. Not the one I've always lived in, the one that I grew up in. The one I visit every summer. Where I had my first drink, my first drug, my first crush.
The house where I learned to lie, and run, swim and get out of trouble. Where I am scared of the dark but I never let it stop me from running that dirt road down to the beach to see every single shooting star the night has to offer.
My best friend since forever walks into my house and shakes me awake, screaming that its 11:30am and we have drinking to do. I jump up, throw on a bathing suit and dirty shorts and I'm out the door before he has time to yell at me again. I say a quick good-bye to my parents who are sharing a bagel outside. They know I won't be back for hours, but they don't care. Not up here, not upstate.
My shoes are already off, feet crossed at the ankles and hanging out the window of the pickup before I realize its only 9:15 in the morning.
"You asshole", I yell and slap Jord lightly across the back of his head.
"You aren't up here enough to sleep in, plus I got plans for us" he responds back.
I can't argue with that, I'll catch up on sleep in the city.
We drive to the nearest town and pick up everything we need to keep us entertained for the whole day. 30 racks, red bull, vodka, and some rolling papers.
We start driving back and the sun feels amazing against my outstretched hand, legs tucked underneath my favorite shorts. The wind is whipping through the windows and the beer is clattering in the back of the pick up. I reach back and crack one, taking a sip as I try to touch the leaves that are hanging to close on both sides of this backwoods road.
"Id Go Anywhere" comes on the radio and Jord starts singing along in his country drawl, always singing the lyric just before Jack Owen does. I start to laugh, ask if he's trying to prove that he knows the song, and take another sip of beer for my breakfast. I kick my feet onto the dashboard, shoes already forgotten about under the seat, I don't need them anymore. I start belting along with him,
"Pick a spot on any old map
I travel light and my bags are packed
Just as long as I'm where you're at
I'm gonna have a real good view
I'll go anywhere, anywhere with you"
We laugh and he takes a swing of my beer. We are driving so fast I feel like where flying, like everything else is just disappearing and we are riding the breeze. I lean my head back and smile.
It's all I need.