some years ago. School gets out. It’s late May. About 75ish degrees. My friends and I all walking out to our cars. They’re going home to pick up their longboards, then we’re meeting at my house. I remember my Aurora. Getting in, starting it up, rolling all the windows down. Rancid is in the CD player. I crank it. I get home and my brother is there already, rolling a blunt. One by one my friends get to my house. First Ryan, then Kelly. Zach and Jill arrive together. We all lay out on my brother and I’s trampoline. We sit there, share the blunt, laughing about something, playing Sublime in my stepdad’s banged up boom box. Once the blunt is done, we throw all of our boards into the trunk of that big red Oldsmobile and go to the beach. We ride miles and miles of Boardwalk the smell of saltwater filling the air, just back and fourth until the sun goes down. We hop back in the Olds and head down to the bay spot, a large vacant house right on the bay. We hang out in the back yard and laugh and play music and watch the reflection of the moon dance off the water. I sit there, and I know that in that moment, that is freedom. No bills, no worries, just friends, music, and happiness. Around 10 we head back to my house, Jill and Zach leave. Chris and Ryan spark up another blunt, I lay there on the trampoline and look at the stars, not a care in the world. Eventually, around 12pm, everyone is gone, and I make my way to bed.

Today I had the lowest day I’ve had since I quit drinking. From when I woke up until now I’ve wanted to stick either a gun or a bottle of whiskey in my mouth.

I’ve been thinking about this memory a lot lately and wanted to get it out there before I forgot.