In the fall of 2018, me and my best friends Alex and Trent went on a 4-hour road trip to Jacksonville. We planned to spend two nights there for a Sierra West concert, an indie pop artist we’d been obsessed with since for years. Per our adventurous-but-broke nature, we had a tradition of piling all of our things into Trent’s jeep and hitting the road, all agreeing beforehand that we would take shifts driving. I’m not saying this trip was my self-actualizing, burning bush experience, but definitely one I won’t forget. Here is the story of how someone (who is both a stranger and family at once) subtly transformed my life.
On a January morning, I slowly crawl out of bed. My head throbs in sync with my heartbeat, and every time I swallow, a wave of nausea spreads from my throat. Every bodily function feels impossible.
I rub the tough calluses on the tips of my fingers together. They haven’t healed, but I do it anyway, because otherwise I’d have to give Alan my full attention.
Two big seagulls swoop down on a French fry that floats in the sea. They wrestle with it, flapping their wings aggressively as the fry predictably splits in two. The birds fly away. I pick up another three fries and fling them into the wind. The bay wall I’m sitting on is rough, and I consider diving into the low tide.
Two mornings later, I wake up to my mom calling me upstairs. I live in the basement of our house, which is nothing like people think. I’d tell someone I live in a basement, but they don’t know I mean a dang Drake & Josh style, decked out air-conditioned basement. It’s spacious, I have privacy, and I have decorative control, which means I get the privilege to not decorate at all. Against my mom’s wishes, of course.