The way Friday nights were spent drinking away the week’s stresses.

The way Saturdays were spent going places and doing things because insanity would hit otherwise.

The way movies were watched when they were most needed.

The way pizza and beer or nuggets or popcorn and wine could solve all the world’s problems.

The way we could talk everyday, in many different ways, all the time if needed.

The way I didn’t have to miss her because she was there.

The way we joked and laughed and made fun because we knew each other that well.

The way we didn’t have to constantly explain minute details because we were there at the same time.

**

I don’t miss college in the least, but I do miss my Partner-in-Crime.

It has been an inordinately long time.

A lot has happened. Philadelphia, teaching, and first graders have taken over my life. I’m living with my parents. My hair still has a mind of its own. I receive a paycheck bi-weekly. Dressing up now has a purpose. Things are affordable, because I have money with which to afford them. Packages are sent and arrive, cell phones jingle, people are people.

I guess only some things have changed.

Life isn’t overwhelmingly harder, but it is different. More goes into it. New challenges, I suppose.

This week I taught about patterns and nouns and finding details in stories. I learned to relax a bit at work, and a bit at home too. These things are important.

The following is the text of the letter I wrote and gave to Partner-in-Crime before she left for Japan.

***

Partner-in-Crime,

I’ve been writing this in my head for months now, and I’m fairly sure that the biggest conclusion I’ve come to is that writing a letter such as this is a near impossible task.  Because, you see, I’d really rather not have to say (or write) goodbye to you.

Partner-in-Crime, very few of my best memories of the past few years do not include you.  Everything lately has been a trip down memory lane.  Meeting you and HB on that first day.  Spending that weekend alone together, and then the following week leading everyone to believe that we’d gone crazy.  Wanting to go to Beef & Reef for nachoes.  The advent of Crack TV.  Getting sexisled.  Becoming roommates.  Lots and lots of watching Nip/Tuck.  Spending my birthdays at the shore.  Ober 64.  Those first few tentative parties.  Pond walks.  Learning the beauty of lying on the floor, especially when drunk.  Going to concerts at Messiah.  Pregaming to meet Colin.  Discussing life, the universe, and everything, all the time.  Visiting me with Becky to “watch fireworks.”  Seeing Harry and the Potters.  The even more spectacular, though less innocent, parties of junior year.  Creepy car on creepy road.  Categorizing all of our friends into Houses.  “Dear Matt, We came to fuck you, but you were not home.  Therefore, you are gay.  Love, Partner-in-Crime and itslikeflying.  Cracker Barrel with Holden as our waiter and the subsequent conversations about Catcher in the Rye.  Popcorn and wine.  Our 21st birthday parties.  Moving and becoming seniors and feeling like grown-ups and going abroad ALL AT ONCE.  Vodka tonics.  Going to Target every weekend because we “needed something.”  Pizza, beer, and movie nights.  Tiny Bird Christmas.  Chicken nugget runs.  Driving through the night on the perfect road, through the countryside…and always ending up in the Black Hole.  The Crazies.  HB picnic, senior nights, Senior Week, Graduation.  Every inside joke, television show reference, knowing look, and mind text.

All of this, I think, proves that it will all be alright.

I am so ecstatic for you.  Going to live and teach in Japan is a dream come true, and I am so happy that you are really going.  It would be a lie to say that I am not also sad – to no longer see you daily seems weird to me.  Not being able to call or text you, or go on a spontaneous adventure with you is also strange.  However, I can’t wait to hear all about Japan, school, your new adventures, and everything else.  You’re going to be such a great teacher.

This is the hard part.  You know by now that I am not good at saying goodbyes.  At all.  So instead of saying goodbye, let’s say see you later.  Because I will see you in Japan next year.  Barring emergency, I will make it happen.  We will communicate; whether it be by Skype or telepathy, email or mind text, we will figure something out.  We always do.

So, I guess this is…see you later?

I love you very much, and I’m going to miss you terribly.  However, because you are psychic, you probably already knew that.

Love,

itslikeflying

Inspired by Karen at Chookooloonks, the following are twenty-two things I love on this, my twenty-second birthday:

1. Curling up with a good book.  It doesn’t matter where – as long as the book is captivating and I am comfortable, I am happy.

2. Freaks & Geeks.  P-I-C and I watched it on Netflix throughout May and June, and I’m finding myself missing it.

3. Listening to a child read.  Especially a beginning reader.

4. Related, reading to children.

5. My bed, the one at my parents’ house.

6. Eye makeup.

7. My glasses, and how I look in them.

8. Cities, especially New York City and Boston and Philadelphia.

9. Good beer with good company.  Especially Magic Hat.

10. Puppies and babies (similar enough to be put together, I think).

11. Giving and making gifts for people I love.  Case in point: as a going away present for P-I-C, I made her a photo book on Shutterfly.  It is adorable, and hopefully it will make her smile if/when she gets homesick.

12. Red wine.  All the time, but especially with popcorn and while watching a movie.

13. My family’s Christmas Eve tradition.

14. Kissing by moonlight.

15. Being on airplanes.  The first time I was ever on one, I hated it.  After like 20 subsequent flights, I love it.

16. Also related, traveling.  Somewhere new, somewhere familiar, almost anywhere.

17. Going to the movies by myself.

18. The pear gorgonzola salad from the restaurant at which my brother works.

19. A good bourbon on the rocks.

20. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.

21. Driving with no destination in mind.

22. Music.  All kinds, at all times of day, in all moods, in sickness and health.  On some days, music is my closest friend.

Today is my last day of being 21 years of age.  It has me freaked out.

Twenty-one was a really good year for me.  I had some experiences that were wonderful and that I would not ever change for the world.  I had a lot of fun.  I went through a lot.  Not everything was good, not everything was bad.

So on this last day of being 21, the following are 21 things I am grateful for:

1. My family.  Though they are loud and large and insane, I love them and wouldn’t ever trade them in for a new set.  I know they are there when I need them.

2. Going to college and moving out when I did.  Leaving home was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.  I’m a much different person than I was four years ago, and I doubt I’d be the person I am now if I hadn’t left home at 18.

3. Calvin Klein underwear.  There is nothing better.

4. Orajel.  As I still have my wisdom teeth, and the ones on the right side of my face are impacted, Orajel provides temporary relief from the terrible pain I experience occasionally.

5. Netflix – almost any movie or television show I could ever want is there, a day’s mail away.

6. Alcohol, and the ability to buy it.

7. Cookies and Cream Delight Luna Bars.

8. Imitrex – though the side effects are not always much fun, at least the pill removes the pain of migraines.

9. Having a vivid memory.  I remember the craziest, oddest stories and details, but I can recall experiences and times in detail that most people would have long forgotten.  Getting nostalgic is oh-so-much fun for that reason.

10. Baby cousins, because they fulfill my must-play-with/hold-cute-babies quota.

11. On Demand Television.

12. A cup of coffee and a good book.

13. The earthy smell of rain.

14. Dark chocolate.

15. My car.  Thanks to having it, I can escape any time I need to.

16. The iPod – at work, I can put it on and ignore everyone I work with.

17. Not feeling like I’m about to jump out of my own skin, a la ages 18-20.

18. Hot showers after a long day of work.

19. Tide to Go pens.  Though they don’t take out red tempera paint, they do get rid of almost everything else.

20. Being able to enjoy my own company.

21. Partner-in-Crime, my best friend.

I could start by offering up a whole list of excuses for why I haven’t written in ages, why I’ve been unable to complete posts, etc.  Except, I don’t want to – they’d be hollow and not completely truthful.

In truth, life has gotten in the way.  P-I-C left Bumblefuck on Friday, and she leaves for Japan in a little over 3 weeks.  Work has been…work.  Really, if there was something I wanted to write about, I didn’t have the time to write it.

***

When P-I-C left on Friday, I left at the same time for my parents.  Last night, when I returned, I had to rearrange the room – I wanted to make it look less like two people should live here.  I pushed her desk under my bed and her bed up against mine.  I moved my dresser out to the side of the room so I could set up my stereo.  My bedside table moved over, and I set up my TV and DVD player on her dresser.  The result?  It looks very much like this room is ONE person’s.

The big bed is, I think, the best part.  Presently, I have two books, my laptop, my iPod, my phone, and a CD case in bed with me, and none of these things will fall out of bed because it is so huge.  Like, I could toss and turn and move in my sleep all night long and still not make it all the way over to the wall.

The worst part?  I’m all alone.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours in Barnes and Noble, pouring over the first few chapters of The Golden Compass and drinking coffee.  This after spending hours in bed watching movies.  Following all this, I had dinner with my parents and then drove for a few hours while pretty much screaming song lyrics out my open window and into the night.

And then today at work, having a number of conversations with a dear friend about some life events and recent happenings.  Now I know I’m not alone in how I’m feeling over things, and just that knowledge makes it a little better.

I can breathe a little easier tonight.

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