[originally written 4/09]
Powerpoprock in a hip, bright, warm venue. Ginger ale in hand, surrounded by twentysomethings on the crowded dance floor. "Have you met..." and "Who are you here with?" Sans ring on the left hand, increasingly friendly, small talk over loud music, "Are you from here?" until he abruptly walks away. Apparently, an hour drive from one small city to another overwhelms any possible interest. Merely amused, I laugh out loud, a chuckle carried away on guitar strings and belting lyrics. Friends on stage and another in the audience, I'm not here to meet my mr. right. Or my mr. right now.
Crisp, cool, night air with a promise of spring, and the sound of the crashing waves up against the city walls, even if only in my head, prompt an involuntary smile. I return a phone call as I walk through the well-lit parking garage, and the smile disappears. Break-up despair, I can hear it in his voice immediately. I can only respond with that sinking feeling of knowing any words I utter can never make it better. I listen. I can only listen.
A wall of white dresses, dressing rooms built for two, and seating to accommodate an entourage of familial females bound by bloodlines and heart-lines. A bride with a flush and a smile, expectantly overwhelmed, she twirls and scowls. Perhaps finding her perfect dress will not come as easily as finding her perfect man.
Mincing garlic without the warning that my fingers would radiate the smell of garlic for days to come, despite numerous washings. I can offer no authority on the progress of the cooking chicken, but I can stir the two cans of diced tomatoes and chop the basil. We are feeding four a balanced meal, a delicious meal, a meal from scratch. A meal without the fear of salmonella.
With perfectly pressed seams, this suit makes its first re-appearance since last summer. Tailored to fit my petite portions, it adds years to my youthful appearance. The click-clack of my heels echoes louder than I remember, and a momentary inspection reveals metal poking through the heels. I wore through my heels last summer. This jeans, sweatshirt, sneaker lover wore through her high heels last summer, most likely walking through the halls of Rayburn. Now, walking through the halls of the district court house, clickclack, early for a meeting, clickclack, I run into a classmate. Court administrative week, we are both surprised to see each other. I am swept in and out of a chaotic meeting-type, waiting in the hall for the next time slot, hoping for less chaos, when a friend clickclacks down the hall towards me. Surprised and relieved to see her, she offers a stress alleviating hug, chats for a bit, calls me a champ, and resumes her meeting. Hours later, with unintentional creases now apparent in my suit pants, as I clickclack out of the courthouse, I run into another classmate I have not seen since last semester. Court administrative week - what are we all doing at the court house? Dressed in suits, on official business, I see as many classmates in the courthouse as I do in the round hallways of our school building. A transition out, certainly.
Still overwhelmed with assignments, due dates, rainbow highlighters and a pile of books. Early evening turns into late night, early morning comes too soon. A swat at an alarm clock, a sleepy 5:30am phone call to the broken-hearted, and a fast shower pries my exhausted body from sleep into the land of the awake. Or semi-awake. An 8:45am Conflicts of Law class means semi-awake at best. Another day of clickclacking through the courthouse in a suit, means an honest attempt at fully-awake. Fully awake and exhausted.
"This must be for you." He hands me my banana-chocolate milkshake with a smile. I nearly melt with gratitude. Clickclacking out of the colorfully decorated whimsical haven, I know how out of place I look in my conservative navy suit, but I could care less. I am too busy inhaling my perfect chocolate banana milkshake.
A 1:30am phone call from the new mother, because she is breast feeding and thought I might be up. I don't have the heart to tell her that I collapsed into bed hours ago, immediately following the chocolate banana milkshake. I mostly listen, incapable of forming a coherent thought, and try to picture my friend from high school now at home with her three week old daughter.
Twenty-something: a time period of change and transition. If I had to pick a specific cluster of days to represent my twentysomething life, it would be these April days.