At thirteen, my parents moved me from Miami, Fl to Pittsburgh, Pa. I’d never seen snow, never been ice skating, hadn’t any idea that scenery had anything to do with the magic of hot chocolate. But I HAD devoured all works by YA behemoth Christopher Pike. Within which beautiful teenagers often battled conflict and high-school angst in wintry universes. I was beside-myself excited. I stocked up on chenille socks, puffy jackets and earmuffs.
It proved to be all I’d dreamed. I made friends that played hacky-sack in my driveway, friends that wore jackets and corduroys and were real-life manifestations of jordan catalano. It became a nightly habit to sit on my bedroom window ledge, alanis on low, light a cigarette and peer through a frost-bitten forest at neighboring inlets. Kurt Cobain committed suicide, flannel reigned and every star in the sky reflected imagined tribulation. It was a glorious time.
So now I live in Boca. I have three kids who spend most days in the pool or at the beach. Gyms and starbucks abound, schools are A-rated and I never have to throw a bucket of hot water on my car to open the door. It makes sense.
Did I ever think that I’d long for gray skies and breath ghosts? No. But I do, sometimes.
I take frequent trips to the Atlantic to remind myself of its sorcery. The way your daydreaming undulates to sync up. I do love it, and it does the trick every time.
But my old Pike friends will forever throw snowballs in my memories. My best work is done by cigarette light, alanis in the background, my chenille socks sticking on the brick beneath my window.
A big, chocolatey cheers to you northerners. Say hello to the stars for me.