Sometimes, I do creative writing. And if you’re reading the other swill, you might as well see this stuff, too.
It was that steamy summer when people seemed very Patriotic. American flags were on a lot of things–tees, mostly, but also bags and shoes and those short tank tops that showed the belly buttons of skinny girls in round sunglasses. Seemed, because of the ubiquity. But I wouldn’t say any of us were particularly proud.
It was the hottest July on U.S. record. We didn’t have an A.C. because, well, we said it was too much money but really it was because we’d rather spend our earnings on cold beer and frowned-upon drugs, and because we’d survived half the heated season already and felt a bizarre, twisted sense of pride in being able to “do without.” “That’s not pride,” a friend says over the phone on the 4th day of August from her conditioned Manhattan apartment. “That’s sweat.” You nod and wipe the tiny, briny beads from your hairline, thinking about September and taking a cold shower before going out. Instead of making a meal, you nibble at a Twizzler and wonder if it’s OK to go another day without shaving your legs. Good razors are expensive.
A bike ride is briefly contemplated, but the night prior proved too much to handle. Bloody Marys at brunch are “lifesavers”, but really they just prolong the inevitable mid-day stupor to an early evening waste of time. Chewing on another twirled stick of cherry-flavored fructose, sitting on an uncomfortably cozy velvet couch, small streams running between the breasts. It’s just another way of passing the time until rejoining society with Beer and Friends, because they are interchangeable and sometimes the same thing.
Sitting on the fire escape–because it’s less stuffy outside, and it looks like rain so it’s cooler and almost like fall, and because your roommate is napping and you don’t want her to know that your coffee cup is full of cheap white wine–you see adult-ish looking people gathering in the backyard on the other side of the block. Dinner parties are for the put-together, you think, and try to pick off the right-knee scab that you got from falling on the sidewalk last weekend so that when you see old college friends tonight it looks like you’re not still a mess. The red licorice tastes a little salty. You are covered in dried bodily saline. It feels normal.
Supposedly, the world is as heated as the weather. Global politics and an impending election that you don’t follow. The economy is bad. Your Job is OK though–it pays the bills, and then some. Things could be worse. It could still be July.
Your world is a bubble–you are only 22.