A time to remember: Holly Golightly and I.

I've never been more miserable than those first few months, post collegiate career. I have distinct memories of first staying, as a temporary squatter, at my sister's college apartment (which should respectfully be noted to have turned out quite charming once she moved in the following Fall). When I was there, this was not so. In the heat of June, with no air conditioning, no furniture or decor to speak of, with the exception of an ironing board permanently laid open in the middle of the floor, charm was not a term I would have used. I can still remember the feel of that thick woolly carpet, the childhood mattress on the floor and the loud whirl of the fan which was almost always directed at my face like some kind of ironic hair commercial. No internet. No cable. No friends. Those were my minimalist days. There was one hot evening in particular which found me huddled in the near dark, save the small overhead kitchen light, crying helplessly over the phone to my mom about how desperately I wanted to quit my first real big girl job. I needed her approval, even then, when I had supposedly moved out and was officially on my own. I begged for her approval. That small office with its florescent lights and the constant call for me to pick up the phone. The coffee I tried to convince myself I liked. The co-workers, all like myself, either vulnerable or stupid enough to agree to such a miserable position. My high school friends, the wiser of the bunch, had moved home and I was transfixed... no, no, that would be putting it lightly... I was obsessed with the image of them, all together, gossiping, drinking summer cocktails, and floating their long, lazy days of summer aimlessly away in the cool waters of their parent's swimming pool. How I wanted to be them. What I would have given for my mom to have convinced me it was a good decision, and not the other way around. 

I eventually moved. An upgrade, albeit a small one. A studio apartment, all of 400 sq. ft, in the same town. Not some borrowed space which my younger sister was to later inhabit. I still had no internet. No cable. I couldn't yet afford such luxuries. But I did have air conditioning and I was tremendously grateful to hear the soft hum of an old wall unit rather than the constant breeze and swirl of a noisy fan. It was mine. And one of the first things I did was to purchase the cheapest DVD player I could find. The second act of independence was to buy Breakfast at Tiffany's. Audrey Hepburn was to become my new roommate. She greeted me from a long, tedious, mind numbing day at the office. She entertained and dazzled as I made dinner and ate it hunched over alone at my table for two. She was my constant background noise during a time in which I had little else. I don't look back on those days with particular envy. I endured a job I hated, lived in a room in which only a narrow escape existed between my couch (graduation gift) and bed (childhood mattress). I couldn't afford proper entertainment. I couldn't really afford much of anything.

It's funny then, how it struck me at work today, to hear Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" lyrics belt out over our little docking station's speakers. It was a song which played during the movie trailer for Elizabethtown. I never actually saw the movie, but in the Breakfast at Tiffany's edition I own, it's a trailer which runs prior to the movie menu screen. Inadvertently, this movie trailer also became one small tid bit of my evening routine as I played that DVD endlessly over and over. What's funny is not that the song reminds me of the movie and that the movie reminds me of my time during which I lived alone in that tiny studio apartment. That line of thought is pretty cohesive I'd say. What's funny is that I hear that song and it actually brings back good feelings. It's the warm and cozy embrace of nostalgia. It's as if my heart remembers that horrible time and resonates it back to my mind as a fond memory. 

Image found here.
But honest to goodness, I'm prepared to turn on that long forgotten DVD player and reminisce about the days I supposedly hated. To Audrey, in all of her glamour. To honor a time in life when every aspect is a little, a lot, bit chaotic, but is simultaneously, spectacularly, remarkable. Much like Holly Golightly. Not at all entirely figured out but still living. Truly, really living

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