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  • We lived on the outskirts of a small town full of nothingness and antique shops. There wasn't much to do but drive around with the stereo on really loud. Gas was cheap and we could spend all night just driving down back roads singing.
    My best friends were skinny boys. We all just kind of looked the same. We wore our clothes too small. I was one of the boys, but my girlfriends, they were sacred, different. We went to see bands in Flint and Detroit, in tiny basements in Ann Arbor. Local shows were in barns and garages, when parents were out of town. We drove great distances to find vegetarian fare from around the world, to buy records. I snapped black and white photos of the way it looked. We devoured books, bought cheaply or stolen and passed around. “Breakfast of Champions” and “Catcher and the Rye”, the breakdown scene in “Franny and Zooey”, “The Stranger”. We couldn't get through “Naked Lunch”. We were learning so much more than what was being taught at school. School was unbearable and as much as possible, we skipped out and went out to eat. When we did participate it was on some self serving level, we'd go to prom, together, the three of us, because that bent the rules, we were just best friends.
    On three day weekends we threw parties that lasted for days, but we didn't drink or take drugs. We swam in the lake and jumped on trampolines and the boys skated MaddTown, and we'd sit in the hot tub till our fingers shriveled up. Toddstock was in April, BJFest was the next month. We all gathered around the campfire and some people sang songs and when it got cold he gave her his sweater even though it smelled bad. He lived in a trailer, his mom left him there by himself at a young age, but he was an amazing musician and a really nice person to be around.
    When there wasn't anything left to do or if we were low on gas, we'd go to Ram's Horn and sit in ratty booths, filled with the smoke of a million cigarettes and we'd drink coffee and laugh at the way Todd said “hash browns”, like there was a space and an emphasis on the “browns”.
    I rode around with Last Day Off while they played at shitty bars in Flint and Detroit and sometimes at house parties. I fell for the older one in the band. He had a girlfriend, they always did. We kissed in the afternoons after school anyway. All I thought was, “He kisses so much differently.”
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