The way things happened, one thing after another, it seemed like time went by so fast you couldn’t tell if you were young or old.
— Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
I don’t know if I am young or old; but what I do know is that this has been an Oregon Trail year. I said this to Caitlin over ice cream sundaes last night. We dug dainty spoons into three scoops with fudge at Margie’s, both of us in the gold vinyl booth with the tabletop juke box, under harsh platinum-blonde light that made me think of 1960s beauty parlors, and in our sun dresses we were exactly the same age as when we met, but not the same.
It’s been an Oregon Trail year (not like the real Oregon Trail because those people were fording real rivers and dying of cholera, rest their souls and their covered wagons) but: like the game from third grade with the square-ish graphics leading us through the wilderness.
Like: you go to the general store and buy ALL THIS STUFF to last a billion years and then your wagon tips over about five seconds later while you’re fording a river. And you’re like, “I JUST FILLED THIS WAGON.”
Caitlin nods and says, “Or like, your ox dies.”
We ordered another gravy boat of hot fudge, and dug in, with dainty spoons.
Relatedly: this, from Deanna.