when i was in college, my friends were filmmakers. they were writers. they were poets, screenwriters. they were artists. they painted, they drew, they sculpted. they pored over 1950s french and italian cinema. they were avant-garde and pretentious, but that was okay. they were passionate. they cared about things outside themselves, outside our campus, outsides our shared moments in student lounges and dingy dorms.
we talked about politics and political implications. we discussed philosophers and famous thinkers and applied their theories to our own. we shared our own theories, laughed over their ridiculousness, the ridiculousness of it all. we wore all black and chain-smoked and snuck onto forbidden property and nearly got arrested and laughed over it. we showed each other our skeletons. talked about drugs and sex like you talk about the weather. we didn't judge. we loved each other for every flaw.
we wore ridiculous outfits and the girls wore blue eyeshadow. i wore legwarmers and thigh-high socks over leggings. the boys wore black pea coats, all of them. the girls wore pigtails and three dollar t-shirts with (sometimes faux) designer bags. the boys wore greasy hair and thousand dollar cameras around their necks. we scribbled lyrics and quotes on our chuck taylors and our notebooks and shared them as easily as we shared cigarettes and dorm room extra long twin beds.
we slipped in and out of varying states of awareness, alone but never abandoning each other through each drift. we became well acquainted with distance and separation but knew reunions just as well. we would leave and return to each other's waiting arms and a kiss and a drink made it all better. we were fluid, and that fluidity led us to static states of wonder and wonderlust.
we traded american spirits and marlboro lights in exchange for advice and paper-editing and articles across picnic tables while the acoustic guitar wailed in pain. until the imposter returned the instrument to its true owner, that is. then soft hums would drift across the breeze and encircle our table of perfect misfits in a moment that could never be disturbed. we remembered who we had been before we got there and never felt afraid to reveal a single story, a single hit, sip, kiss, screw, tear. and we forgave each other for everything we had ever been, ever would be.
i still keep in touch with these friends. not nearly as much as i used to, and the time between each meeting stretches longer and longer each time. we graduated, so we had to grow up and move on and button up a little bit. i like to hope that wherever they are, whoever they're with, they're having these same conversations and wearing the same clothes and struggling for the same cause. that they're only buttoned up when they have to be. that they don't want to be.
as for me? i still wear blue eyeshadow and legwarmers and patterned thigh-high socks over leggings and study for the sake of learning something new. i'm still passionate. i'm still writing. but most people i know wear suits and loafers and skirts hemmed below the knee and three-inch black pumps and wrist watches and talk about their days at work and their dinner plans for friday night and would never trespass or consider fluidity or talk politics in public or remember anything they knew about descarte or delaney or share that they once tried e or fell into a hole or sat in a dark room and felt totally okay with it or shared a bed with someone less than perfect.
i guess we're just different.