Pascack Valley line to the Northeast Corridor late night express, barreling through vast spans of New Jersey that I have never experienced. Last night I slept in Pennsylvania for the first time in years, smelling of chlorine, tasting of rum, but never too tired to smile. Everything that happens lately, all the people I meet, the places I see, the things I do, are turning into some kind of epic collage in my brain. I feel like I am doing research for something that I couldn't possibly foresee. Skinny dipping for the first time in my life, rolling spliffs in a stranger's kitchen, getting kissed hello and goodbye in the parking lots of train stations. All of it seems so romantic, in the way that it could be someone else's ideal for what they wish they were doing. I can't speak to wishing for any of this, but only because all of it happens so quickly that it's impossible to tell if I was hoping for it or not, just that once it's here, I am happy. Happy to catch toads in the grass and smoke in diners again.
Last night while driving winding roads with the high beams on, finding out way from point A to point B, Alec and I tried to talk out what the difference between high school and the rest of life is, mostly for the benefit of his younger brother, but I like to think it was for our own peace of mind as well. The analogy we came up with was that high school is incredibly cyclical; you know what to expect and when to expect it. Things last for a certain period of time and then they repeat. And we both agreed that now that high school is long gone for the both of us, we've noticed that everything has gotten decidedly more linear. Even though I'm still in school, I never feel trapped by a routine. I just do the things that I do to move myself forward, and it continues on in such a way until I get somewhere.
In my mind, I am drawing circles and gleaning information, pulling little pieces from everyone else's brains so that maybe one day I'll finally finish my book. The collage keeps growing every time I bump into someone, fall asleep somewhere else, have another conversation. There are ripples everywhere.