I miss my Hampton’s weekends, meeting new people in the house, or driving to other houses to meet other people, or out to The Talkhouse or a clambake. I remember being there, single, not too long ago, speaking with Alexandra as we pulled into Bamboo for our saketinis. We were navigating the path for the first time that summer, and she clutched my hand and said, “It could all be different next summer. We could have totally different lives.” And she didn’t say it as if it were a bad thing. She was hopeful. While it was fun being single and silly, we were both ready for love. “I’ll kill myself,” she added, “if my life is exactly the same, coming out here each summer trying to find someone.” Then we clicked glasses and shared a few maki rolls.
Our summer wasn’t exactly spent trying to meet anyone, not overtly, but the hope was there each time we passed the lip-gloss and asked for approval on our outfits before heading to the next rosé house party, flipping our hair, pulling in our stomachs, our shoulders back. I mostly went to sleep alone, excited to be falling asleep with a sheet, in the summer, with the smell of grass and damp, ready for a new day to begin, where we’d all awake in our half-slumbers, clutching for the bottled water and car keys, taking coffee orders. That’s what I miss, the communal girl time, the magazines and SPF being passed by the pool, the retelling of our stories, on our beds, in our socks. But what I don’t miss is the longing for the life I have now. I don’t miss missing. I think we’ll always miss. Now I miss my friends, our summers together, but then I missed being in a relationship, missed sleeping with someone who wanted to touch me, missed being in love.
Now I miss the tossed salad places on every corner of New York. I miss dark bistros with small votive candles and big red wines, awnings, and sidewalks littered with people selling things. Hot dogs. Nuts. Cheap sunglasses, pashminas, and knock-off bags. If I were there, I’d complain about the heat because in the city, it’s more intolerable, with the lines and the crowds, slow people, and public transportation. I’d miss space, having grass, pool parties, stairs and rooms, plural. The stars. I’d miss the sound of crickets and the sight of birds circling above. Proper grocery stores. How happy Linus is here. There will always be a case for other. There will always be something to miss, but I realize it’s okay to miss. It doesn’t change how happy I am now. My life is just different now. Not better, not worse, it’s all just data. Information we collect in our lives, memories and photos stored up and filed away. It’s how we live, in the living and the missing.