A soft morning glow filled the still room. “It’s like I want everything and nothing at the same time. You know what I mean?”
“Yea, yeah… wait, no. Not really.”
Everything simply means success. I don’t necessarily need any of the things I want; I already have everything that I need. I shouldn’t want more, but I do. Love, admiration, appreciation; I want to feel complete. I want more out of life but maybe I have no right to demand that, because I haven’t put in enough time or effort. In that moment, I wanted more but I was already really happy, you know? Would you have understood if I told you?
“The way she sleeps is so elementary.”
“No it’s not,” I said as I regained consciousness. I lifted my head from my palm, my neck sore from the obtuse angle. Shoot, I fell asleep again. The huge bonfire blazed. Despite the knit hat and two jackets piled on top of each other, I felt incredibly cold. That’s what you get when you wear leggings instead of pants. We were in the middle of essentially nowhere, in between plots of corn and barns, sitting in a half circle. The stars were so bright– I had never seen so many in my life.
“Not just the bright ones. You can see all the ones behind them,” Shahid pointed out. It was the first time that the sky seemed so endless; a dark pool scattered with a hundred bucket-full of stars, of all shapes and sizes, luminescent without reason. We let the scene wash over us. The lawn chairs increasingly felt colder as the night went on. We took up a fashion to warm up our butts near the fire.
“Do you guys shave your assholes?” Arnav asked. We all cringed.
“Arnav, dude, that’s seriously disgusting.”
“Man, that’s out of hand.”
“No, but seriously. Do you guys?” he laughed. “I’m just asking.”
“Of course I do.” Kevin thought I was serious.
We admired the dying ember in silence. The fire flared as one of my friends heedlessly dropped a log in. He recoiled at the heat. One of them goes, “Yes, it actually gets hotter when you get closer to the fire.”
And as if reading my mind, Tom said, “Fire hot. No touch fire.” I complained about being cold again.
We talked about each other, caught up on missed moments and shared intimate details of our personal life stories that we otherwise would never have– unless we were staring at a fire in the middle of nowhere. We talked about nothing, joked around and laughed as one person got mercilessly wrestled to the ground. We talked about nothing and everything. When it got too cold for any of us to bear, we put out the fire and went home.