Singled Out: The City and Horses' 17
My sweet "17." When I was 16 I had a close relationship with my best friend's girlfriend who was 17. It was the typical high school unrequited love triangle. He treated her like garbage and I gave her everything he didn't, like attention and kindness.
It was a winter night in Brigantine, NJ, a frigid and barren beach town that time of year. I was at a party with this girl and while I was standing outside on the porch I saw her through the screen door smoking weed with her friends. Then, like now, I wasn't into drugs or drinking or things that cause me to be anything but painfully lucid. She knew this about me and would often express similar disinterest.
So when I saw her smoking that joint I took it as a personal affront, a betrayal. It was a dramatic reaction but nothing out of the ordinary for a boy who existed on an IV drip of the Smiths. But now, looking back some fifteen years later, I see it as a beautiful moment, one I should have embraced.
This nightmare hippie girl, with eyes half closed, smiling, laughing and enjoying the freedom of youth. It was, indeed, one of the sweetest little things that I've ever seen.