Nineteen is an unremarkable age, but the birthday itself was nothing short of wonderful.

I was home at the time, which was actually sort of disappointing. I would have loved getting blackout drunk with my school friends, perhaps forcing them to go dancing at the little club in Cambridge that plays 80’s new wave on Saturday nights because it’s my birthday and I can. But instead, I was wrapping up my long-awaited spring break at home in Texas.

Maya had flown down to visit me halfway through the week. We spent a couple of days in Austin, saw the sights of my hometown, and fattened ourselves up with an embarrassing amount of Tex-Mex. My birthday was on Sunday, so on Saturday night we celebrated. Predictably, the nightlife in my town was pretty dead. We took a chance on one of the better music venues for an hour or two of good sounds and a decent crowd. And then, even more predictably, we got drunk.

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We sprawled on my bedroom floor with my record player (Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black) and a bottle of sweet white wine that we drank like grape juice before we decided that we desperately needed to become reacquainted with our good friend Jack Daniels. My little brother saw us raiding the liquor cabinet and I couldn’t help but laugh. Getting older is bizarre. Coming home after months on my own, in a different city, state, time zone, culture was and is equally strange. I’m trying to take it all in stride with grace and maturity, but sometimes you just have to give a goofy smile and pour another drink.

I don’t remember the finer points of what we actually talked about and did that night. Just vinyl, booze, and two best friends celebrating a pretty unremarkable age.

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