February 24, 2005

STILL 16 AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

I was supposed to drive home from Minneapolis this morning, but a high fever intervened, as did some snow, and so the 409 mile trek will be put off until I am well. Which is ok, because I forgot to charge my iPod while I slept and the only tapes I have in the car are interviews I have to transcribe, and Technotronic "Pump Up the Jam" - which I could probably listen to on repeat for at least the first 3 hours of the trip with no problem.

I woke up early, coughing, bangs matted to my sweaty head, and told my mom I was not decamping for Chicago just yet, would be staying in bed here, in what used to be my sister's room, taking advantage of the wireless inter-web, and possibly, some cable tv until my condition stabilizes. My mother then said she would stay home for a while to take care of me, for the first time since I was 7. I think the fact that I bummed a cigarette off her at 9 am and ate pretzels for breakfast made her have much less empathy for my ailments, and she has since left for work, after a gentle-but-harsh lecture about how not taking care of one's self at 16 is one thing, but at 28 it's another, and that pretzels are not a breakfast.

I wanted to explain that no matter how old I am, when I come home, I revert to the age I last lived here at, and that when I am at home, in my own apartment, I can pass for at least 24 most of the time, but it seemed fruitless.

Now, I retire to my sister's old bedroom, which is still decorated with a bomblast of pictures of her high school life covering every surface. All winter formal dances, bikini'd spring breaks, her and her friends with zillion-watt forced-cheerleading pose exuberant smiles, their long blonde hairs, in various fading stages of perm, all mingling together - in the BFF pose, holding tight like they're drowning. My sister is in every picture, with her friends, conveying a deep sentiment of the "us" of teen girl friend ship. I do not remember ever having pictures of my high school friends, or my high school "adventures", up around my room. Living it every day was punishment enough, reminders simply would have unnesseccary.

Posted by Jessica at February 24, 2005 01:32 PM | TrackBack