Doing the Jersey Thing

[Originally written on this date in 2004]

Since some time last week,  the Garden State has being experiencing very pleasant weather, despite the fact that there was a  bit of snow the other day.  Considering it is not yet Spring, I refuse to waste perfectly good sunshine, and thus decided to take a visit to my favorite person.  After all, our last outing had been so much fun and far too much time has passed since I have felt that ache of happiness in my face.

After a brief phone call, I was on my way down to Jon’s house.  Once I arrived he treated me to some yogurt filled with fruit and a few hits from the bong.  With no specific destination in mind, we climbed into his Chevy and drove down to the Shore via Route 9.  Stopped at the Roadside Diner, which is this tiny diner off Rote 35 that used to be a dining car on a train.  The food there was beyond excellent, and it was a good way for us to stretch our legs for a little bit before hitting the road again.

Another hour passed and we were at the beach.  There were actually a lot of people on the boards.  None of the rides were open of course, but there was plenty of construction happening on one of the piers.  Best part is that I did not even have to wear my jacket.

The smell of onions, peppers and sausage was simply divine as we strolled along and soaked up the warm sunshine.  We stopped to sit on a bench and share a smoke while gazing at the ocean, Jon’s hand firmly grasping mine.  Sometimes I wonder if I would be so bold as to publicly display affection with him if I was around people I know.  Granted there is nothing about our relationship that I am ashamed of, but no one has any idea of how close we are.  Or those occasional intimate moments that confirm he has deeper feelings than he is willing to admit.

Maybe I want to get caught.  Maybe I want the whole world to know because I am so madly in love with him that I would be willing to give up anything just to be with him.  Maybe that sounds extreme and like he’s some sort of outlaw, which is less ridiculous than it should be..

We pissed away money playing games, took a walk down the boards and eventually grew weary.  Sitting in the back seat of the Chevy, we smoked a joint and watched the sun set, my head buried in his neck as he held me close.  My fingers were curled in the soft folds of his shirt and I just wanted to stay there forever.

The time spent while Jon is driving usually centers around conversation about anything that comes to mind, or stories from his youth that he remembers at random moments.  The more his voice fills my head, the less I want to hang around others.  He tells me that I should socialize more, but every time I am with him, it is so easy for me to get lost in our adventures.  Why would I want to be bored in a club that plays the same music all the time, while people stand around getting drunk and talking shit?

Taking random drives through South Jersey and discovering new things while laughing is by far one of my favorite activities.  There are people who are stuck in school or at jobs and I have the ability to go anywhere I want.  Nothing could make me want to trade that for an existence where one is trapped in some sort of rat race.  Of course I appreciate this privilege as well, because I could have went that route, but then this strange boy came into my life and completely changed everything.

There was definitely no lack in putting forth effort to obtain what society considers reasonable employment, but there are also a number of factors that prove I do not need to follow that path to be happy, and it is certainly not the only way to support oneself.  Whatever I was supposed to believe would come out of being a corporate slave or some robotic retail clerk became nonexistent when Jon exposed me to his lifestyle.  Suddenly I felt less isolated and things made more sense than they ever had – I liked this sense of empowerment.

It was dark by the time we got  back to Jon’s house, but all of these things had built up in my head and came spilling out moments after lighting a blunt.  Mostly I think I just needed to hear myself tell him just how much I appreciated his influence.  He laughed and his face wrinkled in that way I find so adorable because it breaks down the usual harshness his features tend to carry.  The point to all of this being that I have an amazing friend I enjoy spending time with, and no one will ever make me feel guilty for that – and yet I keep all of this secured in writing where only I can see it, because that is where it is safest.

Any time I start to feel lonely, I just close my eyes and remember his smell, the feel of the ink tattooed on his skin, his strong arms wrapped around me, and I smile knowing that I am loved.

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