I'm back in Seattle for winter break, and I've been hanging out with an old friend group of mine; people who I knew in high school but didn't become friends with until afterwards. We've gotten so much closer this past year, despite me hardly being around Seattle this year at all. Every time I'm in town, we have a big party and drink and talk and laugh deep into the night.
Last Saturday was one of those nights! Wine and food piled up high on the table, spilling secrets and starting up spontaneous little games, perfectly wrapped gifts quickly torn open and shared with everyone. The candle's scent of smoked clove and tobacco filling the room, mixing with the mulled wine and the Tuscan bean stew in the air... a mismatched hodgepodge of music pumping out of the big speakers, my favorite hits of 2019, Balkan beats mixed with bubblegum tropical pop. 7 straight hours of partying, and immediately passing out in bed afterwards to a satisfied and dreamless sleep, and quite the stomachache in the morning.
Last night we met up again and just happily sat with each other as one of us played a video game and another one of us worked on a bead project and another shopped for rugs online and I drew comics and we cooked two pizzas and demolished them, and someone brought over a massive drum of kettle corn in three flavors, and someone else bought a variety pack of White Claw, which none of us like but for some reason keep acquiring and drinking.
I've been to a lot of parties where I've felt alone in a crowd, but at these Seattle gatherings I feel incredibly present, seen, and loved, and it's because of the sort of people I've surrounded myself with here. As I biked home late last night past all the sleeping townhouses, cooling off under the stars, I realized that I had finally found a feeling I'd been searching for for so long: the feeling of truly being able to drop by someone's house at any time for no reason other than to just spend time with them. I said to myself: Remember this moment. Remember this feeling. Put it in a jar in your mind so you can relive it.
It's a bittersweet feeling because in January I'll be going back to Texas again, and I won't see my Seattle friends for another long stretch. I'm still trying to make friends in Texas that I have these sorts of feelings about. I'm not sure that I can. There's a special bond that forms when you've known someone since high school. We've watched each other grow up. We've watched each other blossom! Just a few years ago, some of us were in some really dark wells, and we've watched each other make it out alive.
Tonight we're seeing each other again to go to a movie. I can't wait to see everyone again. I love these people.
🍋 Hey Man, Is That A Lemon Tart? / Yes Man, That's A Lemon Tart! 🍋