The following is taken verbatim from my recently found diary (with a smidgen of editing prowess so you don’t have to read EVERY LAST DETAIL of what I did that summer). The crazy thing is that in re-reading my journal, it almost seems like I was writing for an audience. No informal jotting down of thoughts; it was like I was crafting an essay that would one day be read. This was my last relatively carefree summer—when senior year began, depression hit me HARD. My brother and good friends went off to college and I was left in my small American international school without a core group. That’s when the panic attacks began. Names have been changed to protect the innocent…and guilty ;)
This is the summer after my junior year in high school. All I can think about right now is going to the States for vacation and visiting family, but most of all becoming a SENIOR!
My fondest memories of working at the embassy were the lunches we all spent together. We means the new group I met and befriended for the summer. Cindy and I always ate lunch together, and even with our first crush there, Dave the 22 year old intern who we thought was so sexy. It’s a good thing we soon realized how completely out of our league he was, and then I focused my attention on Peter, who I had met last summer when he dated Rachel. I was, at first, slightly intimidated by his elderly and wise demeanor, a reason being he was a Cornell student and didn’t seem so talkative. However, over many lunches with Cindy, Rachel, Peter, and others, I found myself loosen up around the group. It was difficult in the beginning because I really didn’t know anyone besides Rachel, who seemed to act like a different person around the rest of the group. I was still rather shaken up because of the fact that all my close friends had moved away, and here I was starting out all over again.
Lunches were fun distractions: they got us away from our work and allowed us to acquaint ourselves with one another, even if at first the only conversation piece was alcohol in college. I can easily say that that particular topic I could not really relate to in any way, since I’m still a high school student, and I’m not really known to get drunk. (Editor’s note: HAHAHA, oh little Laura, if only you knew! Dun dun dun duuuun. The story of our young heroine begins…).
Even though I knew nothing would come of my crush, I still wanted to spend time with Peter. I wanted to hang out with Cindy and the rest of the group out of work, in a new kind of social arena. On Tuesday night of last week, Cindy and I joined the group at The Speakeasy, a very “hush-hush” bar. (Editor’s note: I was living in a country where alcohol consumption was illegal).
I have to admit it felt great to shock people when they saw me with a beer in my hand. After all, most of them know me as somewhat of a “goody goody.” I felt guilty for betraying Mama, but all teenagers go through rebellious phases, and I would rather have mine start now, as opposed to when I was about 14. With that beer in my hand, it allowed to me to feel like I belonged that night, as clichéd as that may sound. I may have felt uncomfortable, but I was enjoying myself, and loosening up.
Unfortunately, that whole night Peter had his back towards me, even when I teasingly asked him to turn around. I’ll even admit that I was shocked by his own Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde thing going on: at work he played an angel, but after work he drank till he got very drunk, smoked, and got high. And I still think highly of him…
The next night I had even more fun, and was even more rebellious.
I told Mama I was going on a boat ride with the Embassy crowd, and she distinctly told me (more like instructed me), “NO alcohol!” Yet I drank. And drank more. I just had to have fun and not be so prude, and I needed an experience on my list. I started by sharing a beer with Jessie, and then I shared another. Pretty soon, I made myself move towards Cindy, Peter, and the others where I desperately searched for more full (or half full) bottles.
I got drunk. Not barfy drunk, but very stumbly, giggly, and looser.
I talked with Jorge about LSU, but then I just felt dizzy. And extremely embarrassed! Then I noticed Peter staring at me, and even though I was overly tipsy, I just couldn’t make my way over to where he sat. So I just eyed him back until Cindy (grrr) sat next to him, while her boyfriend watched. Oh well, life goes on. And it went on as we got off the boat and found taxis to return. We ended up going to a shisha bar, or I stumbled over there while having to go to the bathroom very badly. We made it over there, but to my disappointment, Peter wasn’t there. We left to go to John’s apartment, and I was drunk there as well. It just made me feel very helpless, which is not such a magnificent feeling. Anyhow, I made it home fine (on my first night being drunk), and on our last night of work we went back to Speakeasy.
A whole bunch of people were there, and I found myself spending the majority of the time talking to Ben and Wes. I honestly thought they didn’t know who I was (or that I existed), but they did. After one beer, I decided I had had enough, although I kept demanding out loud that I needed more. All I wanted was to spend more time with Peter. He didn’t really notice me; he was probably in too much of a drunken state to remember anything.
Anyway, I had a blast this summer and I’ll always keep the memories with me :)