Once when we were in high school, some boys we knew shoved bottle rockets under the door of the meat packing plant across the street, just to hear them go off. Nothing got set on fire. This was also the time period Jay was using firecrackers to blow up tvs in his backyard. At one point in my life I thought burned off eyebrows were no big deal.
Once I thought it was a good idea to make out with my boyfriend on a private beach at the end of our street, which wasn't actually a sandy beach but a very very rocky beach, and the next morning I looked like I had been run over with a truck.
Once a guy packed me a picnic basket of Jameson and strawberries, and we went out to the Presque Isle beaches, where the waves were huge, and swam out as far as we could go, and didn't come in even when it started raining but just floated out there in the deep water letting the waves pummel us. Until the ranger made us come in.
Once our neighbors bought a million dollars worth of firecrackers, and the boys climbed up on the roof of the building to set them off until I shouted at them that lighting firecrackers on a tar roof was idiotic. So then they moved to the parking lot, and shot bottle rockets at each other.
Once we drove to a rave in Cincinnati and before the party we were hanging out with these kids, and one of them shot up in the bathroom and got cotton fever. And I felt awful that I was the only one who knew what to do, and also realized that many people weren't that smart, and that it was totally okay to be around people who did drugs, as long as they knew how to actually do them, and that was fewer people than I thought. Then we went to the party and a friend of a friend got sick because he drank a lot of beer while rolling, and I realized I was also done with raves.
Once my friend and I sat on the floor of this punk guys barely furnished one bedroom Lakewood apartment listening to 45s, ashing on the carpet, and drinking black label. Later that night I hooked up with the punk guy, and in the morning my friend made fun of me. "He's your friend though" I protested, "He can't be that bad!" And my friend who was much older than me said "That guy's a complete mess Bridget, he's crazy, I should have stopped you but I thought you knew." I was 19 though and I didn't know anything.
Once we drove to Detroit to see a show, in a van with no seats and all of us piled in sitting on the floor, and afterwards we went to a casino, where I ended up sitting on a couch in the hotel part, staring at the insanely crazy patterned carpet, listening to this guy talk for 2 hours about this film he was writing.
Once we all got really fucked up on the 4th of July, and walked down to the beach at Rocky River, and I stood at the very end of the pier, on the edge of the stone, watching all the fireworks displays from all the different cities around the lakefront, which stretches out so far you stop being able to see it, and I swear the rock pier was moving with the water and everyone else got motion sickness but I didn't want to leave. I just wanted to stand out there right on the edge of deep water, really fucked up, and balance, because it was too beautiful to leave.
Once I was at a funeral for a friend, and we all went to a State Rd. dive bar afterwards, his friends not his family, and one of his friends tried to sleep with me but I remembered what my dead friend had said to me once in a barely furnished one bedroom Lakewood apartment, and didn't. Later that year I learned that guy got a DUI for falling asleep in a White Castle drive thru.
Once I went to Speak In Tongues to see a punk show, and after the show there was a performance artist from NYC who was squatting there, and he sat out in the tiny back courtyard, which was filled with cigarette butts and beer cans, and recited poetry and banged on a drum, and at the time I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, to just wander around staying at performance spaces, being dirty. eating donations, and reciting bad poetry. It was very Bodhisattva, no?
Once I went to a beach party, and realized that despite my best efforts I had managed to be friends with a bunch of really decent smart sweet people and that no matter where I went, I was always with the best people there, the people that everybody else there should want to know.