I feel like the logical thing for me to do would be to make a list of why this past decade sucked. I am a hater by nature, and I know I was not the only one for whom this decade (especially this past year) was pretty shitty. But it’s New Year’s Day, and I have 364 days pretty much just like this to get through, and maybe spending the very first one complaining isn’t the best foot to start things out on.
Because, regardless of everything else, this decade has been about leaving my high school and leaving my town and leaving my friends and yet still coming back to them; watching my little brother grow up with my heart in my throat but also being incredibly proud of who he’s turning out to be; a decade of holding hands, of three-hour naps next to people who love you and finding constellations in plastic stars on the ceiling. A decade of picking up the phone at 4 in the morning and finding someone there at the other end, of knowing that there’s someone waiting for you in the cold at JFK, taking the red line home in the late night quiet hours, of eating butter masala dosa and missing butter masala dosa and finding out that you can maybe still find butter masala dosa in your very own town! It’s been about long car trips with the radio on, and sleeping on someone else’s couch when you get there; cooking food for your friends and having them cook food for you and telling each other yes, this is good, thank you. This was the decade that people were very sick but did not die, and when someone did die it was very hard but it was also okay, we are okay, Megan sent me a book of poetry all the way in India, I stood up in the aisles of city buses that rocked and swayed and stopped suddenly but I did not fall down even once I think. I drove the back streets of my hometown late at night one million times, I don’t remember the songs we listened to but I remember how the windows fogged with our breath, the way fog crept out onto the borders of the pavement. We poured champagne into coffee mugs and played Best I Ever Had on repeat, fell asleep with the lights on, cut our own hair and bought fourteen-dollar pairs of glasses. Go ahead, next ten years. (What are we calling them? The ’10’s?) Try and top that.