Let's Go Backpacking to the Past

I never understood why I feel so much more liberated suffocated in sleeves of romantic destruction than being sliced open by third degree burns from a friendship decaying. 

While my fingertips prance above the keyboard, frantic and hysterical, I recognize from simple movements I’m pining to ignore something which already detonated before my eyes. In this objective to write and ultimately dissect through the sloppiness of my character, I imagine what it’d be like if our friendship flowered when we were children. 

We’d sit in the living room and you’d braid my hair, much like you did several months ago. I would still get hurt when you’d communicate how greasy and oddly colored it was. When we’d start singing Hannah Montana songs together and you’d describe my essence as being luminescent in glitter, I’d grin and forgive each time you made my self-esteem strike the ground, like a bullet shot off incorrectly. 

I was a child in our friendship, hiding from every type of conflict like a youngling smothering themselves in blankets to hide from the boogie man. As I sprout from hiding, I wish my brain could skyrocket from your adjective-heavy compliments and spontaneous singing once again. 

In aspirations of not sounding dramatic, I’d much prefer having my heart tossed into the type of garbage bins outside of fraternity houses, sentenced to float alongside emptied cans of Bud Light, putrefying pizza boxes and cigarillo packages. In comparison to losing a friendship, I’d allow for me to be poured into an oblivion by suburban guys with forgettable names. 

However, being disappointed by mediocre men isn’t nearly as fun without you reminding me how much more I can achieve than one-night stands and “I don’t really want to make the time for you” messages. 

I’m wishing for nothingness to heave me back to the past, when we’d sit on park benches swooning over feminist philosophies and debating if we should journey to Taco Bell or not. We’d stare at sunsets with eyes as blank and underwhelmed as those of goldfish confined by aquarium castles and chunks of plastic coral, subconsciously praising just how much more charming existing is when sharing an ecosystem with someone exceptional. 

There are several occasions in which I assumed you were going to be in my life forever. 

One of them was after I had enjoyed too many shots of Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and attempted to win back the affections of a former booty call by serranading him with a song called “Magic in the Hamptons” featuring Lil Yachty. Made more pathetic under drizzling rain and dressed in only a bralette and a cheerleading skirt, my romantic gesture at a homecoming jersey party was a failure, to say the least. 

Enveloped by an angelic glow and compassion available despite your sobriety, you drove me to McDonald’s so I could contemplate the existence of love over fries until you tucked me into bed. After ensuring my iPhone was plugged in and my stuffed manatee was nuzzled in my arms, you told me how tremendously loved I was. You groomed my confidence like it a garden, plucking out the dandelions only to honor them as flowers. 

As I fell asleep, I marveled how an individual could be so kind. Now I aimlessly try to better understand how such gentleness transformed into glaring and slamming wooden doors. 

Although our conversations weren’t always productive and often devoured time devoted to studying, we indulged into the friendship, allowing it to demolish walls and conceal us like a tsunami of color. 

The sweetness of our comradeship existed in shades of anatomizing trauma concieved in our pre-teen years and borrowing each other’s clothes before I dragged you to frat parties. 

You were my favorite person to sit in dormant cars with, allowing you to witness my confidence dissolve like tissue paper, showcasing ugly tears although I still tell people I haven’t cried since 2016. 

While swimming, our pool was made more vibrant by stumbling to sticky-floored bars and holding each other’s hair while vomiting out excess alcohol and cheap macaroni and cheese, I couldn’t help but smile as my heart was engulfed by your eagerness to be in my life. 

How did this evolve into us barging out of living rooms and scowling at the ground as one of us speaks? 

Was me eating your fajitas under the influence or you sitting down during my karaoke performances really such powerful acts? 

Lately, I’ve spent a notable amount of time staring out the window and exhaling into cups of coffee, each one heated in the microwave and sweetened by packs of sugar I stole from hotel lobbies. They warm my throat, but don’t make my heart as satisfied as your variety of matcha lattes and cafe mochas, designed by your determination toward transforming glimmers of yourself into an experience. 

As nostalgia occupies my mind, I reimagine your hands brushing across an armory of barista essentials as if you were performing a militaristic dance for something divine. Encapsulated by glints of metal and cream, I’m in awe by how you equally utilize pursuits toward symmetry and consistency while experimenting with an ambition to be warm and soft. 

I was amused by how well you made coffee, all because your soul was exactly like a cup of joe, sophisticated and glossy and cozy and abundantly centered on making life worth living. 

Can we take a backpacking trip back in time? 

Let’s make an expedition back to me pushing your car forward when it was trapped in the snowy slush at the Taco Bell drive thru or you sharing your mozzarella sticks with me in a crowded bar during the weekend of Saint Patrick’s Day. 

When we come across the times we were insensitive and insecure, we’ll simply hop over them and replace these occasions with the new ones we may never have now. 

If we both get down on our knees, beg for forgiveness and split a cheese pizza, will we be able to go back? 

I think I want to go back.