Boys

an otherwise excellent night out began to unravel a bit as it went on, the edges of our three psyches starting to fray as the alcohol took hold. we were holding it together passing well though, discussing our problems as frankly and clearly as you can manage with that much drink in you, until our traditional 'mcdonalds and taxi' plan fell through due to micky d's being closed unexpectedly. the taxi back was subdued, and when we got back to the house it wasn't long before the tears began. over a comfort-snack of fajitas and pizza, we sniffled and sobbed and talked it all out. three girls, three unhappy situations, all down to the menfolk. let me elaborate:

F is the youngest of our group. she has a boyfriend, and they make a great couple having mostly ironed out some teething problems earlier in the relationship, but their love-life is a bit of a shambles. early size and discomfort issues led to zero sex and hurt feelings all round, which knocked-on into self-image problems, and stacked up with more of life's little stumbling-blocks into full-on depression for F. it's affecting her friendships as well as her relationship, and at the moment she can't really see a way out. there are good and bad days of course, but the bad days are pretty bad. she didn't quite cry, but ate all the pizza.

M is the oldest, and single. she's feeling the loneliness pretty hard at the moment, and is convinced she can't find anyone for her. she tends to get attracted to the wrong sort of guys - married men, emotionally immature jerks and the like - and is frustrated that the only non-jerk who's interested right now is someone she's not into at all. she wonders if she should just settle, and give up hope of finding someone actually right for her. she cried a little and ate nothing.

I'm the middle child of our house, though the other two tend to treat me like a younger sister most of the time. I have a boyfriend who currently lives three hundred miles away, and though I am utterly devoted to him the distance has been wearing very hard on me lately. he and I made an agreement when it became clear that we'd be seperated for quite some time; we can sleep with other people so long as we get permission from the other. this was only put to the test for the first time about two months ago when I asked to sleep with A, a friend of mine and F's ex-boyfriend. permission was given, but things went sour for various silly little reasons, and now the situation there is so complicated it deserves its own thoughtword to set it all out. I sobbed like a little girl and ate all the fajitas.

F summed it up as we headed to our beds afterwards. 'stupid boys and stupid girl-brains.'

who sang along with the radio, because I had made them so happy.

in tye-dyed shirts.

who were open to new music

who stood, naked and unashamed, before me.

who patiently explained things.

that broke stuff.

that rolled down the stairs drunk

who drank too much at the beginning because our time together made them nervous.

who showed more tenderness than I will ever know again.

who danced.

who peed their pants once.

who gave me looks of such intensity.

in plaid pants.

whose laughter tore out of them like a mad creature.

I'm using Pinky's idea, it's been in my head for days.

who were covered in freckles.

who let me dye their hair.

who hung out in parks with me at night, unafraid.

who let me scream down back roads without a word.

with pierced nipples.

who trusted me.

in Alice in Chains shirts.

whose giggle intoxicated me.

who dried my tears on the way to the hospital.

with ridiculously soft skin.

who played guitar until I thought I'd melt.

who taught me that being funny wasn't something to scoff at.

who never mocked the CD in my car stereo.

who lied to me.

who wrapped me tight in their arms, and lay dreaming with me until the dorm room was a bookstore in Portland, a factory with a garden.

with soap shoes, destroying school curbs with me.

who went after the scary noise in the dark with my studded belt.

who gave me one last good day before telling me to fuck off forever.

who gave me blow at parties.

who were willing to crash with me on the floor, anywhere, maybe even a hut in the Antarctic, more than they were willing to sleep in their own beds.

who let me blow money on them.

whose voice unfolded in the inches between us, dripping sex and love and promises.

who debated, grinning, with me on how to run the world.

I handed my soul to.

who stopped at closed fast food joints, and told me to go pee behind the dumpster.

who followed me down The Canal, to the river, at five in the morning, both of us drunk, both of us smitten.

I don't know anymore.

that laughed boisterously. that smiled gap toothed. that drove dangerously. that ate all the leftovers. that slipped two fingertips into the rip in the knee of my jeans. that rolled over and sighed. that put both hands on my thigh. that ran out of steam around three am. that drank too much and smoked too much and got stoned in the morning. that wrecked four cars in the span of a month. that jumped off a cliff into the heaving ocean and stayed under until their lungs were burning. that sang quietly. that stared at their fingertips and contemplated. that appreciated. that gave underhanded compliments. that snuggled up in the cold morning under the heavy blankets. that shook their heads and laughed and opened the window without much effort. that were enthralled by soft things. that wore plaid pants. that got too drunk and laid on the living room floor and woke up sheepish and aching. that dedicated songs at open mic night. that wrote secret poetry and threw it in the dumpster in the dead and silent darkness. that watched clint eastwood movies. that ordered rum and cokes. that wore dress shoes with jeans or slacks with sandals. that woke up with a messy mat of hair and rubbed it back with a flat palm, scowling. that whispered dirty nothings in the half awake of the dawn's first light. that missed appointments and dates and work and slept in all day until they jumped up again, ready for the night. that played gin in the elevator. that drank straight whiskey on ice out of a mug. that wanted a picture. that turned to me and gave that sidelong glance and half smile and shook their heads slowly saying, i don't believe this. that put a heavy arm around my shoulders and grinned and carried on. that gesticulated wildly. that got in fistfights or almost got in fistfights but then decided not to. that loved and lied about love and longed for love but just wanted to fuck. that drank the milk out of the bottle and looked like kids as they wiped the dribblings out of their beards. that stood stoic as we brushed our teeth side by side. that ran their fingers through my hair and said it's okay. that wrote music at three am. that left in a cloud of smoke and laughter and i'll see yous. that were nothing but shadows and sounds and signified nothing.

Girls have the same wide spectrum of being as boys do. They've always broken my heart much harder than the boys did. I don't know why.

Tasha, I really miss you.

they were nameless, faceless ghosts. the boys. the boys drank too much and drove home, the boys hurtled down the highway on that summer night at light speed, the boys talked about joining the military, the boys listened to atreyu and took hallucinogens and had a cook out and went camping and wrecked the truck and drank too much coffee. i wasn't in love with them as people, i was in love with them as symbols of my own transient happiness.

Boys can be so incredibly stupid, but there are those times when they are so sweet that you just have to forgive them. Why do they have to be so adorable?