Apr. 5th, 2008

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The smell of wood smoke is still in my hair.

Another impromptu adventure starring yours truly and the gang went down last night. We had nothing to do; I suggested making s'mores; once the necessary materials (a rusty metal wagon and some logs found in CC's garage, marshmellows and chocolate and graham crackers stolen and bought from Safeway) were procured, we started a fire in a concrete bowl near a pond next to Matt's house (I believe it is meant for drainage, but mostly people just get drunk there).

It was a pretty sad runt of a fire at first, I will say, but thanks to the gentle ministrations of Good Queen Bess and CC and some weird chemical thing, we got it going so that by the time everyone else arrived we were already roasting marshmallows. The pit was all lit with fire, and everything outside was very dark and quietly sinister. I'm not around fires at night very often, and when I am I feel like a part of something ancient. There's something instinctually alluring about fire, something tattooed into our brains from days long ago when wild men would gather around it for safety, knowing that it was dangerous and unforgiving but knowing also that the night, and everything that lurks and waits in it, was more dangerous still.

It was a very pretty night, and the air was warm even if there was mud under the grass that skidded you around all over the place. We all sat on the concrete and told jokes and said silly things that would make my parents cringe and then tell me that I'm associating with baboons. Perfect nights come along so rarely they always feel like a dream the next day.

People seem to downplay friendship's role in our lives. They make it out to be weaker than family ties, more shallow, more mercenary. A crude sort of attraction, whether sexual or not, to people that fulfill financial, social, political needs. I think it's the stupidest shit I've ever heard. I creep around my parents, always expecting some form of reprimand or punishment for the slightest wrong (either that or for not being productive or smart enough). If I sat around a fire with my parents, the only thing on my mind would be leaving. Last night all I could feel was warmth, physical and not physical, and just knowing that these people would not yell at me for not being good enough was all I needed to love them. When we put the fire out with a jug of water, the steam rose in a tall column for long minutes and the feeling of warmth subsided and everyone sensibly went to their cars and left for wherever they had to go.

A few of us drove to Tech's house, and by then my anxiety about going home was back and while the rest of them smoked a few bowls in the backyard, my brain was stupidly constructing every awful thing that could happen that night while I watched the woods. There they were, happily getting high, and there I was, biting my lip and thinking about getting grounded if the scent of the weed caught in my clothes. Car crashes on the way home. Cops busting us in the backyard (ludicrous thought) or on the way home. I am not cut out to live. I spend way too much time worrying.

But nothing happened. Sometimes I wonder if I worry in vain, or if it's the worrying that prevents the worst things from happening. There's no pleasant way to test this that I can think of. Good Queen Bess gave me a ride home and in between pauses we talked about Walmart and smoking and probably other things. I don't know him very well at all, even if I did nurse an angsty crush on him for a good year, and I think this was the first time we'd been alone. (And hey, he'd been smoking, so maybe he hadn't noticed that everything I said in the car was stupid.)

Now I'm home back in the loving bosom of my family, exiled to the basement for pissing my dad off and getting steadily hungrier. Sometimes I imagine myself as an ulcer in his stomach, feeding on his stress and anger and slowly rotting his guts. Like a little fetus, an anger fetus getting bigger and bigger. But that's a little ambitious of me; I don't even know if he gets ulcers when I piss him off. He seems to enjoy stomping around getting mad at everyone. I suppose I'm only indulging him.

Those s'mores were delicious, but they're not really doing any good for the hole in my stomach at the moment.


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