Because small-town sunsets are my evergreen mood, OK?
When things in life break or bend or end, I impulsively text my childhood best friend. We’ve been friends since we were 4 — almost 21 years. There’s something inherently comforting about receiving a text from someone you’ve known forever, especially in moments of transition and intense, unpredictable emotion.
“All You Wanted” by Michelle Branch started playing as I walked into Hy-Vee the other day. It’s one of those songs that would normally float above me unsuspectingly; I’d notice it for an instant but let it stir into the squeak of shopping carts, the rustling of bags, the hum of conversation during a busy Sunday at the grocery store.
It was exactly what I needed that day: a loving albeit cheesy reminder that some things just stick with you. I hummed along with the song as I debated between frozen egg rolls and lasagna, remembering every word, resisting the urge to belt out that shit from the truly blessed year that was 2001.
The scene of all the times I overthink while writing a card or letter.
I eyed the card at my favorite store for weeks, debating whether I should buy it. Blue, letter pressed, local, framed by stickers, patches and jewelry. I drafted it in my head long before I typed it out on my computer, long before I wrote the words in blue ink, fearful I’d accidentally spell a word wrong, sealing our fate in smudged pen.
Meandering the store with a free frozen margarita on a First Friday in the East Village, I picked up the card. Pink and almost too big for the tiny cup, the paper umbrella nudged me to relax, tapping my nose with each sip.
In high school I asked the boy I liked to Prom with a handmade card in red and pink permanent marker. He said no.
After the election, I wrote a thank-you card to Hillary Clinton, stumbling to find the right words when I knew none really existed. Continue reading