Streets crisscross with doppelgangers, increasing in numbers with every passing week. House after house is running neck and neck with the Joneses, all over the suburban sprawl.
The temperature is cooling, but not quite enough, as she almost listens to the song as it makes its way from the living room out to the poolside area. It’s the country radio hit du jour. She knows half of the words, but not the singer.
She snaps a pic of the colourful outdoor lights, can’t decide what to do with it, and lets her phonehand drop to her side.
She takes a sip of the wine she brought. “Worth ever penny,” she thinks, of the four bucks she dropped on it.
She adjusts the dress she doesn’t want to be noticed in, but that would arouse a statue.
She is finding it a little hard to breath in this group, which isn’t large by any measure.
The slightest of panics clears its throat at the edge of her mood.
She checks her email on her phone. She couldn’t tell you if she wants to see something in her inbox or not.
She refreshes it.
Conversations trap her. Complaints from every direction.
“I know this isn’t politically correct, but…”
She takes a few steps to her left, and pretends she is taking a photo of a sunset she’s fifteen minutes too late for.
She wonders if this used to be easier.
No matter where she goes, she’s surrounded by wines people are pretending to know more about than they do, and recipes snatched from Pinterest.
And she wants to go home.
Home to her couch.
She wants to lose the dress and lounge around in underwear and a well-worn t-shirt from 2002.
She glances around. Shared history doesn’t mean a lot when it comes to shared interests. Shared geography means even less.
She can’t decide if the problem is that she’s changed, or that they haven’t.
The loudest voice tells that story, about that time, and she can’t quite remember if she had been there or missed it.
She checks her gmail again.
She lets out a little “yay.”