Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pitching Popcorn

The West End is a burger and beer-soaked bar in my neighborhood. It is one of the few establishments that has lasted since my own college days until now. The drinking age was 18 when I went to college, so my friends and I spent a lot of time in this bar, not necessarily drinking but pitching kernels of popcorn into the bell-shaped sconces, at the time the usual sport. I was sometimes lonely at that age, my poor heart insufficiently protected, yet I often feel nostalgic for that time, and just the teeniest bit envious of my children, who are in the thick of it now, those lit-up days when—if you're lucky, and I was—your bills are mostly paid by someone else, and all you really have to do is feed requisite knowledge to your brain and choose from a raft of activities to involve yourself in, all within the context of a four-year sleepover with people who may one day be your life's most faithful friends. The twist? We never understand quite how remarkable are the days we're living at the time we're living them. The same holds true even now, because when I am tempted to think of the rapture and misery of those nakedly felt years as the best of times, I remember that I didn't yet know the man I would love, and I hadn't yet met our children, and I know that indeed, life held even greater riches in store.


  1. Pitching popcorn and drinking does sound rather dreamy. But I know what you're saying.

  2. So true, all of it. Thanks for sharing that glimpse into your past.

  3. Damn. What a beautiful piece of writing. You are just. . . amazing. Tell me. How proud are your children of you? They have to be immensely so.

    I am such a fan of you. In so, so many ways.

  4. It's easy to romanticize our college years -- but like you, when I really think about it, I remember how unformed and uncertain I was in many ways. I think that period is better looked back upon than lived through. Give me adulthood any day!

  5. Beautiful. You are reliving it, along with them, it seems.

    "A four-year sleepover"... so exactly true.


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