A friend of mine joked yesterday that I only keep her around because she does enough stupid things for the both of us. People only have this misconception because I make an effort to a) exhaust my stupidity quota around strangers and b) be relatively private about said stupid actions, namely refraining from bringing all of them up in conversation and instead publicly immortalizing them on the Internet.
Look, I reserve the right to be a sedentary contradiction.
Yesterday, several high school friends and I had dinner at Chuy’s (the type of cuisine it serves, in case you didn’t know, is carbs. Secondarily Tex-Mex).
After we did our time waiting to enter the restaurant, which is really the primary experience, and flagrantly disregarded the concept of serving sizes, we loitered in the parking lot until streetlights gleamed against tarred skies.
Friend 1, incidentally the same friend as above, gave a couple of us rides back to our houses. My latest house (by which I mean Mom and I move constantly and not that I regularly update versions) is only a minute away from hers, so it was her last stop.
She pulled into the street I live (or more accurately, Mom lives) on. I’d never been there so late at night, and few of the houses were well-lit. I couldn’t make out any of the residence numbers. All the houses looked the same, I’m thinking because at some point the neighborhood architects tried to find out how many blueprints they could reuse before anyone noticed.
Friend stopped at the second well-lit house down the street.
Friend: This is your house.
Really, she must have been asking for confirmation, but she’d said it so confidently that I truly believed it was where I lived until she’d driven off and I’d walked halfway up the steps.
In my defense, this house, like mine, had its number obscured by an idiotically placed tree.
I’d assumed that no other place was as overtly incognito as ours, but apparently even dumb and ugly design decisions were game for reproduction. Once I pushed aside the tree branches at the doorstep to find a number about 300 above my address, I returned to the sidewalk and continued down the silent street, calmly swinging my Mexicobb salad in the dead of night.
In the distance, I saw Friend’s headlights and fervently hoped she was turning a faraway corner and not doubling back down the street. The lights vanished, and I breathed a sigh of relief at avoiding a humiliating conversation.
The headlights appeared again, closer. They’d just been blocked by a row of trucks. In a panic, I leaped to the ground and crouched behind the tire of the nearest car. I thought for sure she’d seen me.
The car roared past. Hiding in the shadow of a tire, waiting to see if it would loop back again, I had one of those self-aware moments, in which, briefly distanced from your situation, you wonder how you got to this point. These sudden in-the-moment reflections occur to me from time to time—one recent reevaluation happened as I was drawing a cartoon bunny on my college biology exam as the legitimate answer to a question.
Thoughts That Came to Mind As I Was Hiding
- Nicole, what are you doing? (You know I’m linking to the meme.)
- So this is probably dangerous. I don’t think anyone saw me, but, in hindsight, I recognize that they likely would’ve been more scared of me than I of them. If I’d opened my blinds and seen someone hunched behind my car, I, as a concerned citizen, would’ve abruptly shut the blinds and gone straight back to bed.
- Looks like the car isn’t coming back. My friend had gone. I could live another day knowing she had not seen me walk halfway up to the wrong house and duck behind a random car like I was James Bond and not someone severely lacking in the common-sense department. She would never, ever know.
… Until she reads this post. I suppose, like most decisions, I didn’t really think this through.
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