Rain City, 1:45 AM

Somehow my friends ended up in a hotel room the next town over tonight. They had been steadily drinking and getting rowdier by the time I showed up. I drove across town and showed up at midnight, sober and ready do my best to get rowdy too.

I mostly sit in the bathroom with my one of my friends and talked about lost love and noble attempts at emotional responsibility. We compare our aging faces in the mirror.

“Are you starting to feel self conscious about the lines in your face too?”

“Yeah, but only in the last year or so.”

We wonder if we gave up too much, or if we held too fast to our rigid ways. I I can’t help but think the walls are closing in on me for a second, or maybe it’s the future crashing down. Maybe it’s the weight of the years. Last night I was on the phone with my best friend. We marveled at how our last cross country road trip was five years ago, and those five years have sort of passed us by in an eye blink. Really though, it was the last ten years.

Back in the hotel room, the kids are wrestling and spitting wine at each other in the next room. My friend wants to take a shower, and I occasionally hand them their drink through the curtain while we talk. I wonder if I feel too old and tired for this kind of thing. The cavalcade of laughter from the next room eases my troubled mind. I feel like I have been in this exact place countless times over the last twenty years.

I love everything too much. It fills my awkward body. The voices in the next room, the faraway friends, the lost loves, the onesI miss just too much. I lament the time we lost to bitterness and quarrel. For tonight, everything is forgotten and forgiven. Every grudge is dropped. I want everyone to be warm and safe just like this.

I feel it all tonight. I guess I feel it all every night, but right now I’m at peace with my roiling thoughts. I’m at peace with all the love and loss. I’m at peace with the nuance and complexities of being a damaged human stuck in a crumbling empire, and on a dying planet.

It’s too late. Life is too short. It’s too fragile.

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