Know What I Miss?

Once I got my first post-college job — the first time around, we’re talking art school here — I was flush with cash, relatively speaking. Very few financial commitments, just rent and a mild student loan payment (going for only two years will do that). The company I worked for used to let their employees go at 1:00 on Fridays as some sort of perk for having your spirit crushed into dust on a daily basis, so I’d drive from Canton back to Brighton in little-to-no traffic, all the time in the world to take care of the administrative crap you always put off, and the two stops I always made on the way home were to browse some CDs and pick up some beer.

I’d get to my apartment by 2:00, maybe 2:30 at the latest, put on my new CDs (if I had bought any), crack a beer and climb out onto the fire escape and wait for 5:00 to come, when my other roommates would get home and the usual drunken silliness would ensue. That was some¬†quality time right there, that 2:30 to 5:00 Friday stretch. Try to sort some shit out (which never worked), map out a battle plan for the weekend, and embrace the solitude that only music, some beer, a fire escape and the sun can provide.

The point was that anything was possible. Of course none of it ever came to any fruition, but Friday afternoons had short memories; each weekly three-hour chunk of time was its own Nina, its Pinta, its Santa Maria. The soggy grey embers of Sunday afternoon were an impossibility, despite being inevitable.

Flipping CDs on the racks in the record store, fingers dancing over the ridged edges of each jewel case. Clutching the metal door handle to the cooler in the packie, reaching in and grabbing a 30-pack as the refrigerated air stole around you. Driving to Foster Street, brown Newbury Comics bag riding shotgun, a squat box of thirty cans of beer on the passenger-side floor, that weekend’s future laying before you like so much asphalt being eaten up by your tires. Maybe you were going to talk to that girl. Maybe you were going to tell your roommate to go fuck himself. Maybe you’d wake up on Monday morning in a new job, with a new life, in a new you.

Maybe.

But what you did know was that you were going to put on some CDs when you got home, some new shit you were really looking forward to listening to, and you were going to taste that sharp and crisp first gulp of beer, a black metal railing warm under your forearms as you rested them upon it, leaned over and looking down Comm Ave as you waited for the sun to set and your life to begin.

That’s what I miss.

One Response to “Know What I Miss?”

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