At Almost Twenty

It’s summer, Early Summer.

Stopped at a four-way intersection, I look over to my right.

Fuck. What am I supposed to do with all this shit?

The passenger side represents my life: an unorganized collaboration of significance. A sea of papers; Poland Spring bottles, books- there is even a spoon. Well, maybe significance wasn’t the right word. But definitely represents me: Messy.

For a minute, I get embarrassed: What would someone think at a sight like this?

Then I remember…It’s her.

She won’t care, she won’t even be surprised. She knows me, she expects nothing more. She knows me, and she accepts me.

~

She gets in. Her legs seem to enter five minutes before the rest of her body. Such long, model-thin legs. A definite contrast to my thicker, muscle-toned legs that can barley reach the pedals.

When she places the paper properly in the backseat, she does it with a grace that I’ll never know.

She cut her hair. She has always been cutting her hair. She dyes it, highlights it, styles it; always. I never understood her obsession with reinventing her hair.

She tells me, in her heavy, stereotypical Italian-Brooklyn-esc accent about how she said “Chawp it awf” to her hairdresser. She says, “I think it looks good. I mean, I think I’m gunna keep it this way. It makes me look olda. Enough with looking like a little kid.”

She can’t wait to “grow up”. She can’t wait to look like a businesswoman. She can’t wait to be a businesswoman. Not like anything remotely close to what I can handle from life right now.

~

I love when she lets me drive. I always feel like I’ve got something over her. Not in a malicious way at all. I mean that it gives me a power that in “real” life, like, when I’m not in a car, I could never possibly show at face value. We have always been the same; so very, very similar. But she was always more ahead; always more advanced. We have the same amount of talent, same good–no, beautiful- looks. But at face value, I can’t compete. She will always be seen as the more responsible, levelheaded, mature, organized version of myself. She will always be the more responsible, levelheaded, mature, organized version of myself. But I no longer mind or find competitiveness in it, like I did when I was younger. Instead, I embrace this “other-half” notion of a person as just that: my other half. What I lack, she teaches me. And what she lacks, I give to her. A complimentary completing of each other.

Anyway, I love when she lets me drive. I got into my very first car accident with her. My fault, big time. I got into my very second, and very third accidents, as well as my very almost fourths and fifths with her in the car. I listen to music way too loud and fidget with the radio way too much, and she hates it. She always lowers the volume, at times when I think she thinks I won’t notice. Past experience has taught her I’m capable of totaling my car with her. Yet despite these logistics, she still lets me drive because she knows I like it that way. And I love that about her.

She skims throughout white button-down Banana Republic blouses. She needs “work clothes”, as she calls it,¬†for her new job on Wall Street. I watch her rummage, almost frantically in search for the most sophisticated lady-like outfit. And I realize that for the first time, the different directions our lives are taking, at almost twenty, might really change us.

~

We get back into the car and she demands, in her sweet way, to “put on a throwback” as I’m fidgeting with my I-pod. I play a song that came out when we were still in elementary school. She lets me keep the volume up high. She engages in the overly obnoxious scene of two teenage Italian girls wearing big, trendy sunglasses (hers being Fendi, mine being $14.50) singing while driving. She sings with me, only I always know the words and she never does. A difference I take pride in.

We are getting older, we are busy, we are uncertain of what’s to come. But most of all, when we are together, we are ourselves.

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