Every time I check the date I think about where I was exactly one year ago at this moment in time. I do this every year. June 30th 2015 I was thinking all about June 30th 2014 and this particular June 30th I have June 30th 2015 on my mind and so on. I wouldn’t go back in a second. No way in hell. I am not the same person I was and I’m so much better but there’s still some things I miss and nobody ever tells you what you’re supposed to do when that happens. Maybe nobody knows but I miss this day when it was pouring and dark and I remember it was a Tuesday and know exactly what I was wearing and what my coffee tasted like and what it smelled like. I remember what this certain day in June over a year ago smelled like. I miss this little ally in the middle of Brookline that I will probably never find or smell again more than I miss most people I have lost touch with. Maybe more than I miss the person who kissed me in said ally between swigs of plain vodka and a single cigarette. So it smelled like rain and vodka and cigarettes …I guess, but more than that it smelled like an old movie or a library or like someone holding your hand (does that have a smell?)…it smelled comforting like a place I had been a million times and it also smelled like finding something I had been searching for a needing for quite a while and I wasn’t even scared that I might never find it again at the time. And for whatever reason every time it’s June now I’m going to think about that day and miss it and out of all the June days of my life, I have that one in particular bookmarked in my heart.
I have other days like that too. This day in the beginning of summer of 2014 when Amanda had a terrible day and got stranded in boston and “had” tospend the night and play soccer and drink red wine out of a to-go cup with me and my family by the monument. The night one spring when I brought Sara to Josh’s house in Westerly and we had beers and played music with his roommate at the time, who’s name we always get mixed up now when we talk about it, the one with all the tattoos and a short temper. I’ll remember all of us taking turns picking songs for the rest of my life. I’ll remember that little house and the room with all peach walls and a giant puffy white comforter forever too and the TV show that was on the first night I ever went there and I’ll be back there every time I hear this Rhye album and close by waves at the same time. It’s so weird because I hung out with this guy a million times after all that, in all different houses and apartments with different songs and drinks and roommates and none of them ever felt quite as good. They didn’t stain my soul the same and I’ll never know how or why.
I miss an afternoon from a million years ago (summer 2012). I always think about summer 2012 when I think about long term, utter, happiness and slow living. I thought about it today because I realized that was the last time the summer Olympics were happening. I’ve always missed this one afternoon the most, when we all jumped into west hill damn with our clothes on and my mom made minestrone soup and it was raining and I was about to have a new boyfriend. It’s so silly. I hate the dude now and my life is so much more interesting these days and I’m happy and have such better taste in music and people and life, everything, but that summer was the shit. We were old enough to get out and do whatever we wanted for the most part, but young enough to get away with not working just yet. The few of us who did work, didn’t work too hard. I spent 3 months just training for cross country and going on terrifying night runs with the guys and hanging out in coffee shops and the woods and everyone’s parent’s basements. I don’t know, Ill always miss that certain August the same way I’ll always miss that certain day in June, the same way I’ll always miss the nights playing music in a peach bedroom and sitting on kitchen countertops in westerly and the way the rain smelled like home in a disgusting city ally and the way wine tasted that one night while I kicked around a soccer ball barefoot.
There’s more days and nights than those. Those ones just stick out to me the most right now because it’s summertime. I don’t even know if those were the best days of my life so far or whatever, probably not. I wasn’t really winning anything or experiencing something super “special” or making huge strides or monumental accomplishments or falling in love at first sight. I was honestly wasn’t up to anything out of the ordinary at all. But I’ll miss those days and places and feelings and smells as long as I miss anything. When I’m about to die those are the days I think I will let go of last and begrudgingly. They will have to be pried out of my hands and will probably be the last few things keeping me alive at all when science and logic wear off.
I have been across the globe and eaten baklava in Greece, drank in pubs with old locals in England, adventured around temples in Turkey, and watched the sun set in the Caribbean and a dirty ally in Brookline, a peach room in Westerly, and a rain filled lake 10 minutes from my hometown are the things that keep me up at night. Those other places get to me too but some certain drinks and decks and smiles and songs are the things that keep me going, the things a miss the most. It’s so strange the things that happen to leave the most permanent stains on our souls and so impossible to get them out. They never happen when you’re ready for them and when they do you think you’ll recover and be ok and not be any different because of them. And then your heart changes for the rest of your life and nothing looks or smells the same and you start writing poems about it and crying in the middle of the afternoons when nothing is sad and your life becomes this strange, beautiful, completely-covered-in-stains type of thing in stead of just a life. The things that stain are so accidental and unexpected and they could all be lies. Nostalgia is a beautiful lying bitch.