E comes to visit and brings, among other items, two mangoes, a bacon bar, and a pair of wax lips. We’ve got tickets to the Head and the Heart, to whom she introduced me over the summer and whose album, since then, has been on the kind of repeat normally reserved for August and Everything After in the fall of one’s sophomore year of high school. I’ve been listening to it a lot, is what I am saying: humming along while I make dinner, muttering the lyrics like a prayer.
I’m not in fighting shape, to be honest. There’s something evil and muscular in nature happening in my neck that’s sent a white shooting pain up into the right side of my brain and down my arm for the last eleven days. My heart has recently been well and truly broken by something so infinitesimal and simultaneously so huge that I honestly just…never decided how to react to it. And I’m two weeks out from the deadline for the biggest, most important project of my entire life.
“Study break,” we keep saying to each other, and ordering more beer.
It’s a great show. A great show, all tambourine and screaming and a vocalist who is my lady hero, platinum-haired and fierce. I grin myself silly. I jump up and down. My neck, oddly, doesn’t hurt at all.
By ten-thirty we’re the kind of happily drunk that has me proclaiming, “I know where we can pee with no lines!” and marching us confidently into a dorm where I haven’t lived since 2006 (and where we can, for the record, pee with no lines). We eat cheese dip and sit on my stoop in the rain and tell each other stories. In the morning there’s a song I can’t get out of my head.