Coming of Age High School

"I GET IT YOU HATE THIS CITYYYYYYY" Jackson Ramoz wailed like Kelly Clarkson into the false microphone of the windshield right down the exit before Dulles airport. All this confidence I'd recently acquired the right to play up out of thin Wisconsin treatment air was trapped stiff and stone cold sweating through an ill-advised crimson outfit from Urban Outfitters in the back of this boy's car. Jackson was my friend, sort of. Insecure me never really knows, but confident one sees him as a first-rate guy. I'm never going to Yale, so guess which one I abide by.

"Do you ever like know someone's doing something wrong and you're like awfully terrified to tell them to do something about it? Like with all the social media stuff that I like fully believe sorta not like you with your subversive female stuff idk. I really like that, but like Darren, he doesn't know that Dola's being really annoying and racist and rude to him, and her Instagram comments like....sexually weird." I try so hard not to feel terrified and burst out laughing. Comradely I suppose. I have 7 rings playing through one dead earbud lmao. I stayed up doing Google searches reassuring me I was even more attractive than I knew and reading disturbing accounts of synesthesia cannibalism.

"You know, you didn't need to give me this ride or whatever." I said still appearing tight inside.

"Totally," Jackson mumbled trying to wiggle with his station.

"and the radio is....fucking dead damn."

"Do you need to get out?" I propped up, chivalrous. Like I tried.

"Uh, sorry if it's okay with you, like yeah," he responded as all the best guys do. All of them. I hid a smile in the worst of circumstances.

I propped up the door of the red Honda, as Jackson crumbled his short body under the tire side.

"Dude do you think the car has a radiator under it, Idk my dad gave me the car, and I know nothing about it. Like you, I didn't get my license until-" he cut off.

"I feel like," I said, heightening my voice to drag out the sound of my own complacent and authoritative but confident and analytical toe of talking. "The radiator would need to have like a semblance of like," I crouched down energetically. Like a steamboat willy or whatever. Cringe at my little interlude there. I hate body parts like Paris said in her memoir.

"Jackson you can just-" I was begging at this point.

"Oh, we can just plug the radio into the radiator thing energy. See, bunny hahaha!"

Crisis done. Lmao, it felt good to work off nervous energy while doing something wild and just fun. I almost wanted to cry.

"LMAO, the car is dead," Jackson whelped. "Uh oh." Omg. Where are we?

"Why did you do this?" I flipped out on him like some scorned stereotypical woman. "It wasn't necessary!"

"It was!" he roared back, dropping his stubbled playboy act.

"Fine!" I slammed a coffee on the trunk. LMAO, this is too much I stomped two steps near some fake DMV woods and convulsed upward laughing, I must've looked like a whomping willow oak in the wind. Throwback to my "favorite tree" at 9 I wrote a French class story about.

"Let's hope that Dulles flight is delayed," Jackson said.

"Fuck you," I respond, weak from dying in hysterics.

"I feel like you did this to keep me from leaving." I randomly slurred jokingly.

"I have a girlfriend you know," He raised his eyebrow, suddenly a semblance of serious.

"I don't want to live forever. " I swayed in the heat against his hot car. "Or find a boyfriend at Yale."

"Better than our southern friend forced to find it at Beauty Briar. LMAO, sucks to be her. Thank god, we're better. I'm better." We spoke together. 

"Look, I'm sorry, I sent you on a joyride, I just think you'd be better off staying close to the area for a few years if you keep saying and crying coming to me saying you don't want to go, and don't need to go." 

"You guys aren't home, you're temporary everything"

"and we're fun" he suggested, raising another paternal eyebrow. Brotherly.

"Look you never had a brother."

"Like you say. It's not your job to Night Changes me!" I blew up bombastically. This always happens at the wrong time because of you boys and your stupid favors. Do you know what happened to me? I stayed up SICK last night because Kirby just friendzoned me talking about balling! And Jeremy acts like he doesn't know any better than to Catholicsplain me like he's in Verona! or the Bible!" I slammed with my characteristic end squeak in my weakening strong voice.

"You never show up like you're seen, according to you Jenny Baker, or whatever name you're gonna go by to pass the next five minutes. You can't run from yourself you know."

"STOP!!!" I raged chasing through all my fucking nerves and with all my fucking might toward his face. Cars were piling up behind us, staring. And I was holding an empty water gun like a weapon. He grabbed it and it clattered to the ground.

"I'm sorry,"


"Fucking nuisance." You're a nuisance for bringing your stupid car with your stupid awkward relatable and perfect pretty shiny problems. and your tall sunglasses and your girlfriend and leaving to make me feel like lonely glass silver shit in comparison because my face gets pale and my hair loses its shine and my lips dry when I'm alone or sad or embarrassed and I get infuriated and then you leave. and I'm fucking alone and have one of my fits or moods. Good people are sometimes a nuisance because you remind yourself what really hurts. And I made the plane. Of course. Life is a fucking nightmare that makes my stomach hate me just thinking about it. Up and down. Up and down like a radiator.

April 14, 2023 19:32

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