In my time with Stacie, we developed a predilection of finding strange places to sleep. In our minds, we were keeping things fresh and having grand adventures while doing so. Blanket forts in the living room , a pile of pillows at the bottom of the basement stairs (Why? 'Cuz.), closets, bathtubs, under tables, attic corners. Stacie once even had the misfortune to be awake when my Dad came downstairs for something from the kitchen, buck naked in the middle of the night (sorry for the PTSD, girl). She was embarrassed for months. Dad had no idea.
Dad drove a 1983 BMW E28 at the time, which eventually rusted from the inside out. The car trunk was just as viable as any other spot, we figured. So late at night we piled all our blankets and pillows in it, climbed in, and eventually went to sleep. It wasn’t until the sun rose the next morning when I decided to close the trunk door on us. I don’t know what I was thinking. A part of me knew we would be locked in, but I did it anyway.
This small action, unbeknown to me at the time, defined the essence of my own heedlessly willful spirit as a child and well into my teens and twenties; a pocket-sized glimpse of my disregardful, tenacious approach to life. “Hmm, this sounds like a terrible idea. Let’s do it.” The thought arose, I grabbed the latch, and pulled it closed.
And in the darkness, I said, “Oops.”
I think I wanted to know the feeling of being trapped. I wanted to experience intensity, even though I knew it wouldn’t be pleasant, and childish foresight knows no consequence. We have to learn it. So we pounded and pounded on the trunk door above us, panicked and desperate, while Stacie became increasingly convinced that our air supply was dwindling and we were going to die of asphyxiation. After about a half hour of screaming ourselves hoarse, Dad finally heard us and set us free from our self-made prison, irritated and highly confused about our choice of beds.
What was the point of experiences like this? What did I learn from this grand and moronic adventure? It certainly wasn’t “don’t do dumb shit.” I hadn’t yet even dipped my toe into the warm, inviting waters of Dumbassery. I still had time to build up to that.
My internal compass has always skewed a bit in the wrong direction. I wasn't drawn toward the things that would improve my life or circumstances, but toward experiences that would peel back my protective layers and expose me to the raw intensity of life. All the pain of it, all the pleasure and agony and confusion and awakening I could find. Through it all, I wrote about it in journals, and this is my effort at making some sense out of the chaos.