2:30 am Snacks
They woke up this morning and I hear first, “That’s disappointing, we didn’t end up waking up hungry.”
They’d asked me to keep the kitchen open so they could get to the pizza in the fridge.
Referencing sleep walking missions.
Sleep walking like the sleep talk speech, sounding loudly and then silent.
Three hours of hide and seek leaves you tired, but a little more wide awake.
Thinking of the place you weren’t discovered two times in a row.
Thinking of eleven shadowed bodies crouching along the walls of a children’s library.
Keeping below windows and phone flashlights.
Thinking about the twinkle in someone’s eye right before they run down a hidden y’all to confuse you if which floor they’re headed to.
Thinking about sanctuary selfies.
Pick up football.
Applause after every play.
We love you anyways when someone does something embarrassing.
Pink light being what I wake up and fall asleep to as the screen playing Legally Blonde glows bright, louder as surround sound.
Bewildering me as I walk aloofly in search of the remote, scanning for sleeping figures.
Barely awake myself.
Unalert like a pair of legs sticking out underneath a stack of chairs, known only by the light of a cellphone.
The wave and eye contact still resulting in someone going elsewhere to look for you, not registering as they rush to the next place.
I’d read on so many forums that the best solution is to overplay, and all I took away was the sense that teens and free time scare us.
Like somehow relationships aren’t build organically.
Like Friday nights aren’t for junk food and stupid humor.
Like pick up football is more dubious than it sounds.
Like teens don’t love hide and seek.
Like somehow playing freely in the dark, running in hallways, listening for pop rocks crackling on someone’s tongue, don’t allure is.
Like how in the moments where we feel unanxious, we don’t need to leave them.
We are not distracted, were playful.
We’re bought in when we weren’t expecting to be, for longer than we considered.
In sleeping bags, without pillows, exit strategies a text away, we find that we don’t need to leave.
We don’t want to leave.
We for tonight at least are comfortable with these people, easily engaged.
More easily than when we arrived, and more easily than the next time we’re together.
But for now, as 2:30 or at 11, in an empty building except for us, free time abounds.
Free time that doesn’t struggle to fill itself.
Free time that is nothing dark or awkward.
Relationships that are wanting to grow.
Or if not wanting, curious.
The curiosity akin to waking up to the memory of cold pizza in the fridge, and the door left open for you to find at any time.