Blue and Gold
The summer was made of us driving, sitting, and getting drunk. Our work schedules didn’t match up well, so we would always hangout pretty late in the day. We’d drive your truck through the country roads. You’d play music that I’ve never heard before, weird stuff not many people would like. It was funny and low key. I loved it. You’d sing along and I’d watch and listen. I would try to sing too, but I didn’t know the words. Plus, you were a much better singer than me. The truck smelled like cigarettes. We’d put the windows down to air it out.
I liked your friends a lot. They liked me too. If I wasn’t friends with them through you, I wonder if I’d eventually meet them anyway just because of how well we all got along. We’d go to people’s houses when their parents weren’t home and drink. It felt like I was back at school since no one really did that kind of stuff in my hometown. The first party you brought me too, I didn’t know anyone. I knew most of them by the end of the summer.
Being away from home, I thought I’d go back all the time. I didn’t. Even with all my friends, I felt lonely when you weren’t there. I was scared to miss a moment of your time. I’d been with my friends for over a decade and knew there was a lot more time with them to come, but I didn’t know how much time I had with you.
We met at a party. You liked my long hair. I cut it two weeks after our first date; you never let me live that down. The party was in the basement. We talked about cameras and fake artsy girls. You left before I could get your number. I ran outside and found your friend-she took my number for you.
You texted me the next day.
You came to visit a lot. Being at different schools, we didn’t see each other as often as we would, but I think that’s how I knew I really liked you. The fact that I could not see you for weeks and still be just as interested. What was even cooler for me was that you stayed interested in me too. Even with guys always after you, you liked me.
We worked on your garden a lot. I helped plant it. I had no idea what I was doing, but you told me what to do and I faked any sort of competence I had (which was basically none). We saw a few movies. I still don’t know if you actually liked going to the movies, but I loved it so much I think you were doing it mostly for me. That was the kind of person you were.
I still think the drives we took were my favorite times with you.
We talked a lot about nothing and occasionally something. We smoked because we thought it was fun, and the conversations were always my new favorite conversation we ever had.
You came to the party I was at by chance, and our talk didn’t have much more depth than normal drunk party conversations. You ended up becoming the first person I’d think about in the morning. I wonder how many other chance meetings that never happened would’ve led to that person becoming one of the most important parts of my life.
Maybe a few, but I think none.
I think it was just ours.
more by TYLER CLIFTON
photograph by Cristina Cerda