If I ever need to remember what it was like to be young, I can think of this soap super couple who I dreamed about at 18 as if they were my actual friends. In our dorm room, freshman year, was a small black-and-white television. Twice a week I would sit in front of it watching Days of Our Lives. The other days of the week Beth would sit there doing the same. We used the tape recorder her parents had bought her to record her classes and we filled the cassette with just the audio of the shows. One or the other of us would race home to listen. This was frothy, like the fuzzy navels we made with peach schnapps, like the hot rollers we wrapped our hair around, letting them cool before taking them out. There are so many things I could have been doing with my time, trying to pass my biology test, sitting in the quiet of the divinity library, learning piano. It was college. There were professors and lectures and why didn’t I try to write for the college newspaper? I was busy, hitting “record” on the little tape recorder and waiting for Patch and Kayla to kiss, to fall into bed, to storm away and back and away and back and ultimately to marry on the deck of a ship with Kayla in the puffiest white dress with the biggest 80s hair. I didn’t know what I wanted for my life. But I knew where to be between two and three in the afternoon, and on alternating days I was there, only a breath beyond childhood, taking notes towards a world I thought might be mine.
July 29, 2015