March 13, 2020

Bridget Meehan

March 13, 2020 I hosted a party for my sister’s eighteenth birthday
Red cups laden to the brim with sticky, peachy liquid
Strong enough to make me smile after one sip.
Carelessly offered hugs and exchanged niceties
Naïve to my future
Safe in familiarity
Locked to the comfort I felt with you, and you and you.
Days crept into months and what was time really?
When hours overlapped with one another the way the waves folded in to the sand;
A haze of YouTube Zumba and the fast fashion of foods: avocado toast  
How did this time alter my identity?

I would like to be able to offer something wise after all of this time
And everyone asks
what you did with your quarantine
All I did was endure it and keep moving
I didn’t even make the whipped coffee
My sister did and I resented the taste
And I became more afraid of the grocery store than flying and
My own fears transcended fear itself
Morphing away from specifics
Into some overarching dread
Walking is more fun than it used to be and I check the weather app more frequently
I don’t know if this is a product of the pandemic or my inevitably constant aging
I read less for fun and the music my dad shows me is cooler than anything I can come up with on my own
I can tolerate black coffee and
I would choose my mom’s chicken pot pie over pizza
I know how to keep a plant alive and how to kill a plant when you neglect its very existence and
I learnt that a person is just a person
No matter how badly I want them to be more.
Is this COVID or am I just growing up?

All I’ve realized in two years, four waves
Endless negative antigen tests,
And one lonely positive,
Is what a flawed concept true happiness is
I perceived joy as perfect moments and carefully crafted events
Graduations and weddings and flowers
But happiness is waking up in a good mood
On an overcast day
Pouring coffee into my favourite mug that might still have residue from yesterday
Sleeping in my roommate’s bed when a flight of stairs feels a little too far away
Sitting on the deck
Gord Downie’s voice humming in my ears echoing into the thick air
The only light is from the flame burning off of her cigarette
And drinking cheap red wine from a bottle
That never seems to end
Feeling unbothered as I sip something that will stain my teeth
The darkness makes me feel safe and I feel more drunk off of this moment
Than I do from the wine in my stomach

 

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Shu & Audrey Golsteyn

And the eyes around me are warm and pretty and tired
And I feel seen
And I trust I’m not the only one
I’m laughing about something I’m going to forget as soon as I walk down that broken staircase
And I’m laughing about being young and I’m laughing about feeling old and
Isn’t it funny how familiar this feels even though this is new?
If I could just keep this moment in something other than the frameless photo magnetized to my fridge

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when a moment becomes a memory
But I knew in the moment
This feeling was meant to last.