There is smoke. It has grown thicker over the last hour, invading my lungs and stinging my eyes. I take another hit and begin to cough. Someone laughs, which is to be expected. With six joints circulating between the eight of us, there is a certain etiquette that is expected. The chuckles die down and leave us in silence in the cool dark of someone’s basement that is lit up with Christmas lights. I guess I don’t know where I am. I guess it doesn't matter.
Dez is not a morning person. I remind myself of the fact when I feel the urge to ruffle his hair. His snapping turtle role isn’t worth a few moments of happiness. In the end, it’s my feelings that’ll be hurt and Dez who won’t remember what he said, halfheartedly apologizing in his boxers over coffee before I go to work.
As many of you know, last year sent me careening into an entirely new mindset and lifestyle. Gone was the overly-prudent-and-homebody Bailey, and in her place was the new cool-sophisticated-ready-for-adventure Bailey. It was the summer affectionately dubbed: The Summer of Yes. It changed everything. Now, many months and adventures later, I find that the Summer of Yes has returned. Hallelujah.
January lingered on for about six months. Now, all of a sudden, we're over halfway through the year. The garden and heat advisories are in bloom, the dogs are eating corn on the cob, people are jetting off on adventures, summer parties are all the rage, crop tops have become necessary wardrobe staples. Life is good, better than it's ever been. My Bond House crew continues to mesmerize me with their generous and fun-loving souls...because, as you know by now, nothing in this house is done in half measures.
It’s mosquitos swarming and the screen door slapping against / the hickory frame as my body is stretching out of girlhood
In the bleak midwinter, we sat around the kitchen table and talked about Claudia's upcoming birthday. Michael and I strove to outdo one another in sheer absurdity ("Let's have a reading in the library" or "Do you think we could cover the pond with a plastic sheeting so people can dance on it?"). I can't remember if there was snow on the ground when we were having this conversation, but will imagine there was for the appropriate amount of dramatism. Weeks ago we started to carve out these plans and then, almost suddenly, it was time to actually do the thing. And we did. We went full-Gatsby.
There’s something in your sleeping breath / that reminds me of a hermit crab gathering
Sometimes it's hard to believe that it was only four months ago that I moved into a house with Craigslist strangers. In that time, I have 1) not been murdered and 2) been exposed to dozens of people and concepts that have helped to make me hungry for new connections. Of course, there is a sense of bittersweetness to this. Because of the transitory state of many of my roommates, it almost goes without saying that all good things must come to an end.
Had you asked me a month ago, I would have told you that I had been depressed for a few years. Which, of course, was true. With the occasional reprieve offered by a "good" day or week, depression has been a constant companion. But it's only recently, as I come to strange degree of comfort, do I finally recognize that I have been in an exhausted, joyless shell for more than half a decade. And, for the first time since then, I can honestly say that I feel wide awake.
As a poor, naive Southerner, I thought that we might see spring and put away our snow boots by the end of February. I remember in November when people would laugh at my optimism and I thought they were jerks. March has come and gone here in the Bond House. Snow lingers on the ground, the temperature has barely cracked 50 on most days, and I'm still wearing wool.