It's nighttime, I'm sitting all freshly showered and clean listening to the sounds of a man digging through garbage on my street.
It's pretty melodic.
Berkeley seems less horrifying than it used to. Or, maybe it still is but I ignore it. I didn't flinch when the old homeless man screamed out "YOU FUCKING WHORE SLUT BITCH"! on my morning walk to school. I was more wrapped up in the discovery that I was wearing my shirt inside out when I happened upon someone peeing in the street, and the campus seemed almost peaceful today even though there was, yet again, another protest happening. That all being said, I jumped at the chance to take a road trip with a girlfriend down to L.A. this past weekend. All week long I was excited about it. I packed the car with chips and water, (that was about it, actually. I didn't even think about gas. I'm horrible at road trips.) We set out on a Friday afternoon and danced in our seats to Ricky Martin for 5 hours. It was everything a road trip should be.
So, let me tell you about the people I met while I was in L.A. To sum it up I will describe this one young, lovely little lady named Catesby. I walked in to the front door and she came right up to me, kissed me (like, real, big kisses) on each cheek and told me I had great boobs- all in about 5 seconds.
I fell in love with her.
I fell in love with the entire house, actually. All actors, all big personalities and glossy hair and good teeth. All incredibly intelligent and really good at Irish and British accents and holding cigarettes correctly. For the first time IN MY WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE I was not the loudest person in the room. I was not the only one to drink a bit too much and start singing, (although I jumped on that as soon as it happened. I can't resist making everyone sit down as I obnoxiously put on a concert.) I fit in perfectly with this crowd. My people.
We drank and danced and laughed and cried, and had a birthday party for my friend Deb with "Happy Boss's Day" balloons. Random quotes like: "wine is like a white supremacist" and "we are the dashes in the poetry of life" came up. It was eccentric and sometimes silly...but it was real.
The last day we were driving back from breakfast and I tilted my head against the window to let the sun dance on my face. A song in the car was playing softly, Catesby was sitting next to me humming along, and Deb was in the front seat, stretched out contentedly. I froze the moment. I kept it in my mind like a treasured photograph worn around the edges and I whispered to myself: I am young. I am surrounded right now by people that love me. I am alive. AND THEN, TO JUST RUIN EVERYTHING ABOUT THE FRAGILE BEAUTY OF THAT PERSONAL MOMENT I TOLD EVERYONE OUT LOUD. Because I can't resist a moment of obnoxiousness.
I braced myself for someone to roll their eyes or tease me. You'd be amazed at how much this happens to me. English majors, on principle, generally hate each other, and I tend to say a lot of things in class that provoke the eye rolling and such. Instead, Catesby squeezed my hand, Deb turned around and offered me a beatific smile, and no one had to say anything else. It had already been said.
And we were all speaking the same language.
Which is the language of awesome, naturally.