Sleeping Lessons // The Shins

I’d give anything to be riding with the windows down in Lauren’s old SUV up the hill on our way to Rich’s pond.

It was the summer of 2006 and the only direction we had was to just go. We were 18 and undeniable reckless. The back of her trunk was filled with clear, unmarked liquor bottles that were bought from some seedy New Jersey hook-up because our fake ID’s only worked for getting into bars. We’d wake up in some random bed to one of our phones ringing telling us the plans for the day. It was either swimming at some water hole in Noxen where people roamed the streets with several missing teeth, going to the drive-in with a couch and a keg in the back of J’s truck, wading in the lake from being abandoned and left for dead in the middle of the water because we had a distracted jet-ski driver, and always spending the rest of the night partying at the pond with a campfire and the moon as our only light.

This was the summer I broke up with my high school boyfriend and decided to not make plans. Lauren and I instantly gravitated towards each other because the only agenda we had was to laugh our entire day away. We’d drink beer and bbq, suntan in our dirty bikinis that we had been living in, ride quads and motorcycles with no helmets simply because we didn’t think of putting them on, do back-flips off docks while midnight, naked swimming, while drinking moonshine right out of old mason jars. It was bliss in every way you could imagine the word.

I kissed enough girls and guys that summer to count myself as a seasoned pro. I swam in dirty ponds that permanently browned my skin. My liver was shot but I was 18 and easily flexed back. I thank my strong sense of drinking even to this day on that summer because I taught my body to accept the life I was currently throwing it into. I wanted to be free by having no cares, so I found this sort of love in hot-tubs and pools, queen beds and bathrooms. It was all the same. A fast-paced blur of hot sun and breezy nights, tight skin surrounding my cheeks and stomach muscles in pain from laughing.

My current world can be found on the 7th floor in a Manhattan suite. I am surrounded by chairs and people talking incessantly on phones. There are no dull moments in my day but there is a constant hunger for something that is more carefree. I hope I can live off of pennies so that I can take a year off and go live at the beach or in some podunk town where I’ll be able to get my skin wet and glistening with spring water while getting a nice, easy high for days on end. And I hope my wish comes true with an added bonus of a close friend or lover to join me on another one of my great adventures.

I can’t sit still for any amount of time… I guess it’s my Achilles’ Heal.


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