the pool, hot on a september slab of concrete. a speaker singing a distinctly weekend song, listing back towards the heat of summer struggling against the onset of school. but we just repeatedly submerged ourselves and lie on hot things in the sun roasting to save a bit of heat, sort of fattening up for the winter. Peter was ripped of course, how could he not have a six pack at 16, he’s just that kinda guy. strong silent type, super cool, badass; also relentlessly nerdy, shy as can be, and definitely one of the guys you have to know well to know at all. he’s perched like a lizard on the high dive rolling over to toast each side, occasionally and jarringly rolling off the diving board upsetting the water 10 feet below and the less fit, less shy, me on the low dive (because heights aren’t my thing.)
you feel like the sun is shining through you when you lay on a black diving board like that, the surface burns your skin and the sun does its worst on the other side, you lie there. the closest we will ever feel to a cold blooded animal, or a zucchini in the midst of the broiling of a lifetime. we just lie there thinking that maybe if we didn’t move time might pass us by and leave us happily stranded in constant farewell to the pregnant bliss of the weekend. and teal, blues in abundance like a brochure to mykonos, both the sky and the water both are cloudless and still moving.
in those peaceful hours i saw fleetingly like a stag in your peripheral, the adolescence people tell you to hold onto. we did. we savored it. an experience we never talked about partly because it might seem gay and partly because what would we say. in a way it was my connection to the schoolboys i see in black and white, with my white gloves flipping through ancient yearbooks. content to lie on a hot rock by the creek with a friend you have been through hell and back with. i saw a glimpse in that moment, a glimpse of the school we would’ve attended had we been born in 1900.
Peter never chose me. he was content with the friends he had, i wasn’t cool, and i idolized him. terrible way to make a friend. but i just kinda showed up, next door, and i would just come and sit with him, uncomfortable as all hell at first, but within days we became happy to distract one another and would spend study hall sneaking back and forth between our rooms talking about rock climbing season and expensive climbing shoes. like two freshman boys did in a hundred years prior, one running into the others room discussing the intricacies of a new radio. wasting a two hour study period and leaving homework for 5 am the next morning before we went to muck their horses. and tomorrow we’d plan to sleep through study hall as a result of our long day but instead chose to scour ebay for deals on aforementioned climbing shoes.
we weren’t fast friends, but when we needed to study we could sit in silence and study and that was comfortable. also wasting our time nerding out over lame climbing equipment, but both were necessary evils and a part of our lives. for me silence was always the enemy of friendship because good friends always had something to talk or argue about. but Peter liked to listen, to say nothing, to test if it would be awkward, sometimes it was, most of the time it wasn’t. but now when i see him once a month silence is my enemy again. i want him to tell me everything, tell me the gossip, what’s happened since i left, who’s with who, who hates who, funny stories. and Peter just wants to be with his friend and sit and eat obscene quantities of brie and just exist and pretend nothing happened.
I promise to love my mother, my father, my sister, my brother
I promise I will represent my filipino nonnie and my black grandfather
as I walk down the street with my hair as
big and curly as ever.
I swear to be as spiritual as my grandmother,
And to not let the stress overcome me.
I vow to teach my sister everything I had to learn alone.
I promise to heal those around me with love and joy.
I pledge to never bleach my hair.
I vow to not express through harshness but through
I will never forget my heritage
I will remember where I came from and be
I will come home,
wherever home may be
I will always listen to soul and jazz music that comes from
the heart of New York,
or the deep south.
This is set of rules, guidelines, and obligations that will set a path for me in my near and far future. I may break or might not keep these promises but I will try. These promises and statements will shape me and prepare me for the unknown.
(finally some much needed radio silence, my normally needy car gives me a breather, i turn into 89.3 KPCC like any self-important masochist. ahhhh. how lucky i am to tune into the sweet sweet sonorous sound of the voice of Peter Sagal the host of NPR’s greatest and only radio game show. my car obviously understands the pleasurable tones created by the one and only Bill Kurtis, the narrator of this great weekly hour of radio. and my car picks now as the perfect time to send a certifiable fuck ton of alerts, ranging from topics as important as aforementioned washer fluid or that the car is in need of a software update, blaring through my car speakers. now quite honestly i didn’t know cars could even have software updates, let alone that they were so important that i should miss an important line of NPR’s most high-quality comedic banter, but i swear to all the gods that may be, if this self important piece of german engineering chimes at me again there will be a germany sized whole in the continent known as europe)
your chorus of chimes and beeps and brrrungs remind me the second i turn the key that my seat belt should be on. i was just about to put it on, but obviously im not quick enough for you and your quarter of a second delay.
a vehicle is anything that moves or transports. this car is more something that annoys me more than OSX updates.
(OSX updates that the lovely folks at apple think are priority numero uno, however we know this to be false, i have to put new windshield wiper fluid in my car.)
forgive me oh state farm for i have sinned i have wronged mine car. my car that moves or transports like it is meant to; that roars and tears into its intricacies, generating a herd of horses to move or transport me to and from school; that pairs, through the magic that is bluetooth, to my phone bringing me summer reading audio books as well as crosby, stills, nash, and young all the same.
my car which takes me to coffee and groceries, that supplies a warm butt in the mornings and cool AC in the afternoon.
you defrost thine own windows, you display thine own manual. you know thine own tire pressure, you never cease to tell me about it.
you’re a mechanical beast that does so much more than moving and transporting. you purr when you idle, content to cool and blast NPR. you roar when i press on the gas in neutral by accident. and you alert me with hope in your chime about the absence of washer fluid in your stores.
but you, oh vehicle of my dreams, oh vehicle my parents so rarely let me drive, you annoy me so deeply and to the core i am tempted to just walk.