It is the lock-in at the practice gym and Mr. Big on the overhead speakers.
It’s the red Gap rugby with the plaid collar.
It’s choir class with my best friend, and singing Phantom of the Opera.
It’s walking to her house after school and practicing dance routines Old Time Rock & Roll.
It’s Sophie B. Hawkins, Chicago, and Skid Row.
It’s also Enya and Enigma and Pearl Jam.
It’s walking the track at Panther football games and talking to cute boys.
It’s cheddar broccoli Rice-A-Roni and mashed potatoes.
It’s watching the fireworks off an island in Lake Erie, floating on my friend Hunter’s yacht.
It’s swimming every single day in the summer and tanning in the ‘California’ booth at the laundromat.
It’s saying goodbye to the clarinet.
It’s the 10th grade, standing on that track at home game. It’s the green Gap jacket I wore and the way Dustin smiled at me when I nailed him with that first kiss.
It’s a membership to animal-cruelty organizations and attempting life as vegetarian. It’s also learning what living ‘green’ meant, and researching ways to save our planet in my spare time.
It’s Little Shop of Horrors, Grease, and West Side Story from behind the stagelights and the invincible feeling those performances gave to my heart.
It’s singing Bohemian Rhapsody and Bad Moon on the Rise just because we knew every word.
It’s making polymer clay mushroom necklaces and friendship bracelets during French class. Pourquoi?
It’s taking a sucker punch in the left jaw by a girl who was never really that nice to me.
It’s Algebra, Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, and Creative Writing; it was very serious plans toward a pre-med concentration.
It’s Young Life and Camp Storer in Michigan, and seeing big, strong football players come to Jesus.
It’s missing my mom while she worked 3-11, and watching The Golden Girls reruns on Lifetime when she got home.
It’s a whole lot of ‘tardy’ on my grade card junior year.
It’s learning how to drive mom’s Dodge Aries K car in the beauty school parking lot and still flunking the test the first time.
It’s making lots of mistakes and choices and blessings and memories that I won’t ever, ever forget.
It’s the fragrance I wore in high school and when I saw it at the Gap last week, it all came rushing back just. like. that.