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If You Need Me, I Will Be over Here Remembering When We Took a Zipcar to Connecticut

If You Need Me, I Will Be over Here Remembering When We Took a Zipcar to Connecticut

Amy Rossi

At dinner, he asks what I think the hardest thing about adulthood is.

Fine, that’s a lie. It sounds better that way, but of course we don’t eat dinner, not together.

In bed, he asks this question. He is a little stoned so I will forgive him for it, but I want to say: When people ask you stuff like that.

I need to stop sleeping with younger men. They are available in larger supply, though, which could also be the answer to my question.

Instead, because I am a little stoned too, I tell him: People having babies.

You aren’t supposed to say babies in bed. I mean, my birth control pills sit right there on the nightstand, he watched me wash one down with gin, but you really shouldn’t bring up babies when you aren’t dressed, especially when you aren’t dressed with someone you tell yourself is twenty-seven but is probably more like twenty-five, not because that is too young for someone to want babies but because it could possibly be too young to understand that the invocation of babies has nothing to do with your own personal desire or lack thereof for babies. Babies is one of those things that, once said, makes everything around it blur. You hear babies and you check right out. It’s fair. I do the same when I’m hanging out with a guy and he says Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain, which has happened more than once and is one of the reasons it’s easier to hook up with twenty-four-year-olds.

You aren’t supposed to say babies in bed.

It’s weird seeing people I was young and dumb with have babies, I say. It’s so final.

Heavy, he says.

I take the joint from him. I think I about the pictures I saw this morning.

I have had a few friends who, at one point or another, I did everything with. We would talk endlessly over whatever mode of communication was in at the moment about shit that only mattered because talking about it had been made so easy. And still we’d meet at a bar five nights a week for good deals on bad beer because we were broke broke broke, and no matter how old we were, in those late nights, buzzed on possibility and the rush of feeling understood, I could see glimmers of our futures: meeting each other’s boyfriends, perfect men we had not yet found, who had beards and knew how to wear flannel and also read books and respected that we knew a lot about baseball; her boyfriend asking me what kind of ring she would want, because I alone would know; the bridesmaids dresses, minus the butt bows that were so often threatened; holding the baby mere minutes or hours into its life.

Nowhere in these glimmers did I ever see a scenario where I wouldn’t go to the wedding, where she would become pregnant and I would not be someone she would tell. Where I would find out there was a baby because she had not cut me out of her internet life, just her real one.

It is easy to just say babies because everyone can ascribe a meaning, a difficulty to it, but what I mean is: being someone’s bridge to the life they want, but not part of it.

It is easy to just say babies because everyone can ascribe a meaning, a difficulty to it, but what I mean is: being someone’s bridge to the life they want, but not part of it.

But I can’t say this to him, especially not that part, because then he might think I am saying he is my bridge and I wouldn’t want that, because I know it is really the other way around.


Amy Rossi lives and writes in North Carolina. Find more of her work at amyrossi.com.

Illustration by Meghan Irwin.

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