This morning I drove the farthest I’ve driven by myself to go to a viewing by myself for the first time.
I don’t know how to do these things. Well, the driving, I suppose I remedially know how to do that. But a viewing? I don’t know.
I dressed how I thought I should dress and wore a white shirt, which I never wear, and I smiled wanly and kept my hands clasped. As the line neared the family I wondered, am I supposed to cry? I felt the valve of tears loosen behind my eyes. I had cried at work when I found out, just for a moment. Then it was too late, and I was crying, and what do you say when you’re the one crying about someone you’ve never met before and the family is hugging you? I don’t know. It’s sad for everyone there, but you’re all there together.
I guess that’s the point.
Now I am seated in bro’s college apartment, talking about the best daytime mixed drinks and the hour it is most appropriate to begin drinking them.
I always think of bro as my slightly-younger peer, but his roommates seem impossibly young. Were Erika and Lindsay this young when we moved in together? I don’t know. Maybe because we were all only children we all grew up as tiny adults, so when we moved in together we were adults, only smaller.
Now I am seated at their kitchen table and I am that old guy, with his laptop and his car keys, whisking bro away for a day of family time.
But I know this context. It feels familiar. I could day drink with them all day. Or, at least, I have. I don’t know if I could any more.
The girls are making apple sauce at the counter. We’re headed outside. Guitar shopping. Another context where I never know who I am.
I wish there were more rules, but then I remember I don’t like rules. I’ll just be me. That should work.
Lindsay Wilhelmi says
“Maybe because we were all only children we all grew up as tiny adults, so when we moved in together we were adults, only smaller.”