“That’s not how I remember it!”
“Well that’s what happened,” Mac says with a confident nod.
“No it isn’t!” I squeal before erupting in laughter again.
“Look, you both are wrong,” Cameron interjects. “Mac told me to cut the screen out of the window. It was her idea –”
“Blair was half way down the fire escape!” Mac cuts her off. “Why would I suggest or even knowingly let you destroy all hopes of me getting my security deposit back?!”
“We were locked on the roof!” Cam argues, sticking to her guns.
“Oh no! Not the roof! Not on a warm summer night with chairs and drinks over looking the city skyline with our best friends! You know, it’s hard to believe, but there are worse places we could have been … ” Mac trails off and we all dissolve into giggles again. “Oh to be 19 again. At least once a week, I wish we were still in that apartment. That we were still 19 and stupid.”
“Oh we might still be stupid. Man,” I sigh, “that was a great apartment.”
I’m sitting in the middle of my kitchen, feet propped up on my table and computer in my lap, vide0-chatting with my two best friends, and watching a steady stream of water fall from my ceiling and into a cluster of pots and pans that I’ve scattered haphazardly along my counter tops.
“Aw Blair, it will get better,” Cam offers.
“Yeah,” I say, squinting up at the open flood gates and taking a large gulp from my wine glass, “people keep saying that.”
“Oh my gosh!” Mac exclaims. “Remember that time when Daniel With The Dimples … ”
In Greek, it literally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. It’s a time machine – it moves forward and backward. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again.
Tonight, watching my Nashville apartment fill up with water – again – while my maintenance man is at a Super Bowl party, I ache to be back on that rooftop again.
“My favorite is still the time Blair stormed into my dorm room, waking me up from a nap because the men’s swim team was doing crunches on the lawn outside of her window,” Mac says through bursts of laughter.
“Hey! You were the one who stalked half of that swim team! You used to time my dinners around their practices. I was just helping you out.”
“God, how did we end up here?” Cam says after we’ve stopped laughing. “Did you ever think we’d be where we are?”
“No,” Mac and I answer in unison.
“I mean, I’m getting ready to head off on a book tour, Mac moved to England and got married! And Blair moved to Tennessee. Ugh, Tennessee! Of all places …” Cameron says and sighs. “We’re all so far away. God, we’re such grown ups.”
I’m not sure about the grown up part. But despite having their faces side-by-side on my computer screen in my lap, I’ve never felt further away from my two best friends.
I blame the Great Flood. It is significantly dampening my mood – no pun intended – and making the four walls of my apartment seem a lot closer together.
“Regrets?” Cameron asks.
“I regret that you cut that screen on our apartment and we didn’t get back that security deposit,” Mac laughs.
Cameron just rolls her eyes and repeats herself, “Regrets?”
“Nah,” Mac and I say in unison and smile at each other.
No regrets. If we had made one arbitrary stop along the way, we would be elsewhere. We would be different.
“Well I’m off. It’s about bed time for me,” Mac says and yawns for effect.
“And I’ve got to throw something together for dinner,” Cameron says, unknowingly emphasizing the gaps in our time zones. “What about you Blair? What’s for dinner?”
“Spaghetti,” Mac and I say in unison.
“How do you guys keep doing that?” Cam asks in amusement.
“Easy,” Mac answers. “It’s the only thing Blair can cook.”
They both smirk at me.
“Yeah, yeah, laugh it up you two,” I say. “Nah, no spaghetti tonight. I think I’m going to refill this glass and watch the waterfall.”
“Let us know if we should send floats,” Mac says.
I hum in response and say my goodbyes, absentmindedly rubbing my chest to dull the twinge that has taken up residence.
Nostalgia. The pain from an old wound. It’s like a carousel. It lets us travel around and around and back home again, even if just in our minds. To a rooftop. To a tiny dorm room. To a hostel in a foreign country. All with our best friends.
To a place where we know we were loved. To a place where we loved.
What are four walls anyway? They are what they contain. The house protects the dreamer.