Internet, I don’t trust you one bit. You’re cold, faceless, void of personality and lacking in confidentiality. You’re the worst companion there ever was, yet so many people turn to you as their crying shoulder, the friend that accepts them and waits up with them until the early hours of dawn while they laugh at pictures of cats. Why, internet? Why is it like this for my generation? Although I’m about to confess to you- it isn’t really you I want to confess to. I’m talking to you people out there; that’s what we’re all attempting to do. Connect. So, my confession. The trued, blued, not yet tattooed confessions of a teenaged nothing.
1. I’ve seen two hangovers in my life, that I’m sure of. Kennedy was one- we’d lay in bed together in the morning, both awake, just breathing while she forced her eyelids to go up and I rubbed my feet together under the covers. Her clothes were still on, a hint of that lacey thong peeking out from under her black skirt. She’d scratch at the dark circles under eyes and throw a heavy arm over my middle.
Last night, Nana, Mum and Pop, and Uncle Derek and Aunt Maria all went out to the Cuba Bodega on the corner of 38th and Quinta, a mere three blocks from our house on 44th. So I babysat, of course. Mum gave me an oral itinerary, one that I’m very familiar with, and she prescribed a ten o’clock return time for the adults. At eleven, I made sure all the kids were in bed, and passed out on my bed, tanned and exhausted from the week I’d only slept four hours a night. At eleven the next morning, I was woken by fuzzy voices calling out my name. “Mande?” I mumbled, bleary-eyed. My hair was stuffed in a nape at my shoulders, and my tank top was disheveled above my small blue panties. My bellybutton waved hello to the mirror while I wiped the “drugged teenager” look off my eyes and shuffled into Mum’s room. She was laying, fetal, with an olive green towel wrapped around her. She instructed me to go downstairs and bake chocolate cupcakes for Aidan’s birthday party at the paintball place, Gotcha, which started at 12:15. Aunt Maria and Uncle Derek came over, and after an hour, a hungover trio had congregated in the living room. Papa’s phone was missing, and Mum had Uncle Derek’s phone in her purse, along with Aunt Maria’s ID. No one could figure out how they got home, let alone when, and Aunt Maria couldn’t even remember what had happened. It was rumored that Nana had gone home at one point in the night, and I haven’t heard from her since. The Cuba Bodega, with the live Spanish music and dancing floors and the expectation that a flamenco girl will appear at any given moment, is jumping tonight, into oblivion.
2. I miss my piano more than some people back in America. I miss the MIDI keyboard and mixing music on Garageband- although I was gearing up to buy Logic. I even miss my clarinet and hanging around guitar cases while an impromptu trumpet is passed around like a bong and Miles Davis tunes wha-whaa out from between the guitars and sometimes we would sing.
3. Justin is my best friend right now. I suppose I just jump from guy to guy, I learn his secrets, and share some of mine, and then one of us leaves. Those boys out there that were my closest friends- they knew everything about me. We spoke of books and family and our likes and dislikes and anything that popped into mind. We talked about sex and what it would feel like to get high. Sometimes I talked about running away. And every time he would ask me if he could come along. He’d send me red and white carnations in the form of words while I shrugged him off, holding him at arm’s distance when there was no other boundaries between us. Then, months or even years later, in different worlds, I’d see that boy again. We’d go right back to each other as if nothing had ever happened, asking what we did that day and how our ________ is coming along. He’d tell me I’m witty as hell when I respond to his sarcasm dryly like I used to. He’d ask me if there was any boy I’m with now, a wistful hatred in his eyes, so I’d smirk and we’d go our separate ways after that chance encounter. That’s how I’m afraid I’ll always be: a wistful, abandoned passion of a boy who was my best friend. I don’t know what’s going to become of Justin and I after he leaves, but I do know that we both need each other, in our own ways. He’s told me at point blank that he was drowning before we danced at that first party. I guess he found something in me that could save him, like how I found a rock to lean against that isn’t my mother. Even though Mum is my best friend for life and she has something Justin will never be able to give me, he has something she can’t reciprocate, because he isn’t my mother. We are friends, inching towards knowing each other.
4. You don’t know this about me, but I’m a bit of an insomniac. My whole life, I’ve always been a fanatic for the nighttime, never able to slow my mind down enough to sleep. I don’t have ADD or anything, I was just born in the arms of the moon. I used to stare at my popcorn ceiling turn gray in the house in America, thinking far too long and hard about the direction I was running in. Maybe I’ve never slept well because I was born with a cloudy conscience, but I have a hard time sleeping alone as well. I suppose it irks me to be solitary in the big endeavor sleeping always was. Fortunately, around sixth grade I discovered music, so now I stare out the balcony at the jungle across the street while listening to my life narrated in quiet songs through my headphones.
So this is goodnight, and if you’re a pill-less insomniac, then try not to think too hard tonight.