there's things like how me and lenore were the bestest of best friends in elementary school and she was an idiot wearing a tank top on a field trip downtown in late fall, so i lent her my sweater and i was standing around in a silk shirt, but it was still awesome. or how the line between hero worship and love is really non-existent in my head, especially after that one student teacher.
there's how hallways stretched long and frightening without a book to read while walking against a crowd of people. or how my mom's current room was the scariest in my house because it was the only one without a light fixture in it. and how, when we shared the room, my brother always took the top bunk. there's how i've always been on the bottom bunk and how, when i was sick, my brother would turn on the tape player to our favorite tape, tuck me in and give me peace and quiet while everyone else ate dinner. how sometimes i think we were closer friends than me and my sister because at least he looked out for me when we were at brandeis together.
but i guess it's less of that and how just yesterday i realized that i've always skated that line. i wore buttondowns over t-shirts and a guy reached up between the two and was trying to feel me up and i didn't even realize it until he'd touched my boob. and it'd been weeks of him laying on me, doing that. he got to second base before ever touching first and i feel... somewhat jilted.
and there's other things too--how i kinda miss high school now like a tangible thing, where i would change what i did for what i know now. because, yes, i would've taken jones' molesting further and my girls would've had to put up with PDAs because i would've let him do almost anything. shameless, yes, but true. i still have a curiosity about a certain piercing. (it didn't even take me getting drunk to tell him that i wish we'd met in some other time, where i wasn't who i was. it took a long ride to cincinnati, i think, and my feet against the car window and nostalgia. and i told him "i wish we'd met in some other time. i think we would've been fantastic." and how he texted back that he was sorry. and how it was sad but made sense, how i still think it passes through us from time to time and how i want to heal that boy's wounds, but know i'm not for him. how he promised me that he'd leave me what he made when he went to the army, and the drunken phone call at 1 in the morning where he promised me he'd be back. and how i haven't seen him since black friday.) or maybe i would've stopped repressing so hard and maybe have told one or two girls that maybe i wasn't so loving of them platonically. (granted, i'm still working that out right now, trying to decide if this is me being lonely, impressionable, or if it really has been there all along. and then whether i should act on it at all, considering the objects of my affection are all straight.)
or i wish i could go back to middle school and actually understand what max was saying to me, instead of just hearing the words and being glad he was talking to me still. savoring sharing eighth grade graduation with the two boys i'd adored as opposed to the girls i called my friends. but, more importantly, going back and actually working out my life's course properly.
these memories are all the paths i've taken, the ones that lead me to today and make me who i am. they're all the paths i wish i could've changed, the ones i wish i'd stayed on longer. if i could turn time backwards, i would go back and fix it. maybe i would've never become solidly insane but loved without high school. smart and honest without the brilliant minds i met in middle school. blunt and careful without the stability of family and faith in elementary school.
i just wish that now didn't seem so pale and lackluster in comparison.