Jessica was one of those friendships that was always doomed to self-destruct. For two years I watched her shed off another friend every three or four months, like ridding herself of an old skin. So it’s not really shocking that the time eventually came. But meanwhile… we had some fun.
Through Jessica, I was also friends with Michelle. Had a tiny little crush on Michelle, in the way that even though I didn’t think she was anything like what I would be interested in… I was still interested. But then, of course, there was also Michelle’s older boyfriend Mike. Mike… who had a job and drove a pickup. Drove the pickup while we sat in the back watching for cops. Nothing to make you feel like a redneck more than riding through the parking lot of a plaza in the back of a pickup whose tailgate won’t close properly. Or from the same spot, watching a country highway go by at 70 miles an hour.
Kashong Glen has been around longer than dirt. And that whole time, kids have been going there to drink and do stupid things. We hiked all the way down the Glen, without thinking that we’d have to hike all the way back up to get the truck.
I can remember all of use being out in front of Michelle’s house on her family’s farm. After she threatened us with the garden hose, I successfully charged her, but eventually fell fatally drenched. Inside we watched bad movies in a really small living room with many really big couches. Everything was brown. Or at least that’s the was I remember it. And when Mike bought a house, we all helped move furniture from the barn over to his new place.
There were parties at the end of the school year at Jessi’s place. I rushed out at the last minute, having nearly forgotten to burn my French notes and workbook on the miserable little campfire in the driveway. Across the driveway was a huge fucking pool. I sat on a floating air mattress one night and talked with Volivia, who was one of the family’s foster children that summer. We talked long into dusk, after everyone else had given up on us and gone to dry out on the porch. Michelle warned me to be careful, when I finally came in to get changed, because Volivia could get me into bed like that if she wanted to. Yeah. I was really worried about that. Next summer, after she had moved back home next to the hair stylist, Matishma moved in with Jessi’s family. Maybe this is where I started falling in love with bad women’
It’s really not the same taking the subway over to Rock Creek Park. I miss pickup trucks.