A growing chorus of boys on the cusp of being men that I keep attempting to hold my heart out for, only to be glossed over, spiraled through depression, marked mentally and physically, taught how it feels to have every pair of eyes in a room turn to you with disapproval, taught what it feels like to really be kissed- then used, it's learning of a list of lies so long it could fill a roll of toilet paper- or several, what it feels to be cheated on and left, what it feels like to be kissed.
It is a destination filled with road trips and tops down and sunburns, and back roads and jumping dunes, and loneliness.
It is a best friend, that I fight with all the time, and no one understands our friendship- even us, for large portions of our twenty-five years. It's filled with hours long conversations that no one would understand but us. It's filled with rage for and at each other. It's filled with understanding and support, and love like sisters. It's filled with unimaginable distance, and standing side by side as people leave us, or we leave them.
It's a place of music and stage lights and back seats on the bus. Midnight hikes and rolling down sand hills. It's filled with too many pictures on negatives and paper that pile and may never see the light of day again.
It's filled with tears.
It's filled with smiles.
It's filled with regrets and sighs of relief.
It's mine, and I don't enjoy the visits very often.