Greatest Hits: The American Edition

Live-blogging from Ukraine! Because I am having a Charlie moment! And because life is too short, especially life in the States – you can never quite get enough of it. In case you’re wondering, the hits are in no particular order.

Trip to New Orleans our junior year. Our greatest achievement was getting into a sleazy karaoke bar. Anna and I kept planning on getting in line to perform a song, but we were thankfully too wiped out to even stumble over to the stage when we had the chance to do so. Mark stormed off in search of a blues bar. I “peed on Mason” (a dirty rumour that WILL be squashed one day, no matter how many lawyers I have to go through), and Paula got up for church the very next morning, at six a.m., to be precise. Oh, and scary old people piled into the hotel elevator by the dozens, it malfunctioned, and my entire life flashed before my eyes – and it looked good.

Skipping work to go on a nature trip with my brother and parents. I was sixteen at the time, and had my first job selling tickets at the local cinema. I hated my job with the fire of a thousand suns. On that particular Sunday, we drove out to the forest after I pretended to have the flu. It was autumn, the trees were yellow, everything smelled like bonfires, and my dad climbed an oak and pretended to be a squirrel.

The night we played Apples to Apples in Jeff and Mary Clay’s old apartment.

Every single cast-party I’ve ever been to. With possibly one or two exceptions. And the favourite one, perhaps, being the time I slept on the floor next to a big yellow dog.

The first time Habibi and I kissed.

My second-ever Dave Matthews Band concert. On the count of three, we shouted for “Lie In Our Graves.”  We did this with annoying frequency. Dave couldn’t care less, but we were too busy dancing dorkily in the aisles to be upset.

That day at Snowshoe, when Anna yelled at us to turn around and let her change, and left the window open. Shortly afterward, a toothless old man appeared on the slope below. He yelled, “hey baby! I got chicken for ya! I’ll be waitin’!” Anna and I ran downstairs, and were accosted by another man, this one wanting to do his laundry in our room. After we managed to shake him off, I decided I needed a cigarette. I was immediately set upon by a third man, who screamed that my “cigarette looks good.” We finally holed up in a restaurant, only to be menaced by a freakishly large Great Dane named Czar, and Czar’s inebriated owner. Who knew that Snowshoe is like a bar straight  out of Grand Theft Auto?

The late-night Ewan McGregor film-fests in my bedroom.

Meteor showers – with Trey, and with the fam (at the end of the street, sitting on blankets sketchily).

The night I went to the party at Chris’ apartment on Central. At 2 a.m., Stavros and Dan and I decided to drive out to the beach to someone’s house. We kept getting lost, and Stavros kept saying things like: “And then we’re going to get to the end of this street, and there will be people with torches waiting for us. And they’ll be wearing masks. And chanting.” I kept screeching at him to stop it, and it only encouraged him further. We made it to the beach by dawn, and smoked by the ocean, and I freestyled in Russian – in front of other people. Then we went to bed for a while, and I slept next to Julie. I woke up and listened to Orbital on my iPod in the sand. I knew I was falling in wuuuuv with Habibi, I had to freaking clue as to where it would lead me, and it didn’t matter. I was the happiest girl in the world – the happiest girl outside a Sephora, anyway (tee hee).

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