During the time I was feeling sorry for myself, I got an app called Balanced to annoy me into doing the things that should be on my to-do lists, but aren’t: “be adventurous” and “be present” and “take a deep breath” and “comment, don’t like” and “airplane mode.” It’s helpful, but I roll my eyes whenever it sends a “What are you doing to bring your life greater happiness today?” notification. Whatever.
I desperately needed to be adventurous around the time the leaves were beginning to change. So I texted up a friend from school, who lives halfway down the state, and we made plans to go to a literature festival in her town. We spent the day meandering through the tables of small presses, poked into the coolest used book store I’ve ever seen, and hopped the pub crawl of readings. I spent too much money on books.
Amid the fog of a pumpkin beer and a free shot of whiskey, we sat in a secluded booth in a dark bar lit by Christmas lights while wonderful writers read pieces from their stories. Some were goofy, some were outlandish, some where touching, some were boring. One brought my hands to my face and sent a chill down my spine.
She and I talked about books nonstop — ones we’ve read, one’s we’re saving as a reward for reading other books, that one written by a professor from our school. We told “remember when” stories, one-upped each other on tales of those weird kids we had to tolerate as part of the English curriculum.
She was always much more English major-y than I was. But outside of that one square hallway, we’re equals. We both read silly books and serious books. We can talk about them without being graded on how poignantly we can ramble our thoughts. She’s snarkier and I’m more of a word-fumbler.
But we both giggled like little girls when we saw the trash can in the women’s restroom had “DISCOVER YOUR CLITORIS” scrawled on it.
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A lot of my days have been spent admiring cool people and wishing they’d be my friend. But apparently, all it takes is the bonding experience of a tough History of the English Language course and a random text to go to a lit fest to put the plan in motion.
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Side note: This is the happy post I’ve been longing to write. I had a sad one all drafted, but decided I need to keep the whining for my precious paper notebook.
I hope your new year is wonderful and full of love and sunshine.