Creedence Clearwater Revival just came on the radio.  The first notes of the song morphed into a time machine and I was taken back to high school.   Just like that, the thoughts of who I was and (sort of) still am came flooding.  I stopped mid step in a nostalgic trance.  Maybe that's what acid flashback is like.  Although probably not.  I never did acid.

In my non-acid trance, I thought about the late nights with nothing to do but drive around with my best friend, Leslie.  Sometimes we'd just drive hours away from our town and then hours back home.  We would smoke Marlboro Lights. We would listen to classic rock.  We'd sing loud.  I was in love with Leslie's teal blue honda with a sunroof and an infinite musty smell that she covered up with limitless Bath and Body Works products.  Cool.

We were cool cats.
We pretended that we were too cool for school.  And we were.  Sort of.

We were non conformists who found that 'getting out of this town' dreams came by way of finding parties and buying cigarettes.  Although, I fake smoked because deep inside I still thought of myself as runner. I couldn't shake loose my middle school cross country glory days.

I thought we were normal.  I thought the high school escapism that we did was normal.

Now I'm not so sure what normal is.

Leslie and I haven't talked in years.  I'm old enough to say that- '... in years'.  How did I ever get to be old enough to say that?  I guess that's the gift of time.

Somewhere along the way, we grow up and we find out that we're broken.  I guess that's the gift of time and curse of the universe. Growing gives you strength and the universe gives you humility.  It gives you a bunch of wishes to have done things differently... But moving forward takes courage to stop wishing life revealed itself in the way you wanted it to.

I don't know normal.  But your normal will most definitely not be my normal.  Your story is not my story.  You have your own path and your own humility to discover.

I never lost one minute of sleeping
Wondering 'bout the way things might have been.  
- CCR, Rollin' on a River


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