The Summer That I Turned 18

The summer that I turned 16

I’d had a sip of my first drink and “I would never smoke a cigarette”

I was only concerned with the older boy who gave me butterflies

I felt like such the little bad ass when I clumsily snuck out the window to go to a small bonfire across the train tracks to drink slurpees and yell at people for lighting basketballs on fire

Boys set off little water bottle bombs and I thought it’d be cool if someone could be there to put their arms around me because it was chilly

I didn’t have any concept of time and days were spent in the hot sun and nights were spent sneaking out to the park or someone’s house where all we did was talk

The summer that I turned 17

Was the first time I got drunk

I spent most of it alone, stealing all of my father’s alcohol so I could sleep

Some days I didn’t even sleep until 8a.m. because night time scared me because I was alone in my mind and distant from everyone and longed for arms around me this time

The older boy was away and I’d spend a few nights on the phone with a boy I hardly knew as we drunkenly spoke about our worries and our loneliness and sensitive subjects that we acted strong about to each other

I believed the neighbor boys offers were innocent and I painted smiles on my face before I stepped out of the bathroom after I’d just been looking myself in the eyes wondering if I’d be alright for the day

The summer that I turned 18

I smoked a cigarette and haven’t stopped since

I hardly spoke to the older boy unless I was drunk calling him, and in that case, he’d hang up on me or I’d only get a response from the voicemailbox

I don’t speak to him often, let alone think of him much

A year ago, you would never have gotten me to believe it’d be like this

Early in the summer, I fell for someone who couldn’t help but want to keep his arms around me but I always made sure that he’d been kept at an emotional distance

Safe to say that that didn’t go over well and I made an ugly little mess of things

It’s possible to want someone while thinking you’re in love with someone else

But I hope to eventually clean up and continue on in that; it’s just not a good time at the moment

I spent my birthday heavily intoxicated, looking back at what I’ve done and what the hell I was doing

Seeing a friend naked and throwing up in a bowl while I stumbled to the bathroom to hover my head over the toilet bowl so I could get back out there and celebrate the fact that I’d made it another year

Even though that’s not really why I wanted to make a big deal over it, I just wanted to forget everything that’d happened and was happening

I kept my habit of looking in the mirror and questioning myself before I wiped a smile onto my mouth to step out again

My life is lived with a constant poker face

This all made me realize that we’re no longer the troublemakers but the heaps of disaster left over from our recklessness

The days that I’d spent at home I’d get high off of whatever the medicine cabinet presented me, for many days in a row

Every so often I’d add another pill to the count to test how many “one more”s my body could handle to the point of me creating a few “too far”s

I expected that “he” would always be there to catch my pieces and stick them back on me even if I hesitantly picked up and handed him his

You get what  you give eventually, I suppose, because I’m sitting here next to my pieces giving them a half smile and a shrug that says “I’m sorry, I don’t know, this one is on me”

The older boy isn’t the “you” in my writings anymore

And poetry doesn’t seem to dance around my sentences

And I’m truly unsure of what will be picked up and what is permanently left off

But I guess that I’ll pick that back up after the summer that I turn 19



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