I’M SITTING in Chloe’s car. We just got done running 6 miles and jumping in the ocean. We are dripping with salt water, from both the ocean and sweating so much. In the back, strewn across her cushiony latte colored seats is India’s serape. Confused, I go “Is that India’s?” She looks confused too, and shrugs and says that is probably is. I grab it from the back and wrap it around me, feet up on the dash, and we head back to Solana.
Totally normal. That’s just how things are around here. Everybody’s shit is just floating in and out of cars, houses, coffee shops, places we slept at, and in the hands of somebody’s boyfriend’s sister’s best friend because she needed it for some party.
I ask Chloe about it, about the fact that every kid from Encinitas, Carlsbad, Leucadia, Cardiff, and Solana has half of their things scattered about and random items from everybody else strewn across their houses. She furrows her brow and turns down “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys. “I dunno, I just thought all teenagers were like this.”
Not where I am from. But I wish it was like this, not just for teenagers, but for everybody. Sharing material possessions as if they were just material things and not a possession with somebody’s name hovering above it.
I don’t look at it as a lack of responsibility, but more of a team effort. There is this strong “what’s mine is yours,” mentality. Because if you give and are generous, it comes right back around. Like how when we pull up to a gas station, no matter who is driving, everyone reaches into their levi pockets and throws a couple of crumpled ones up on the dashboard. How when we go out for the night, we all end up wearing Aisling’s shoes, because we are all conveniently in the 6-7 range and she has damn cute shoes. How India says “hey where are the shorts with the patch on the back?” not “MY” shorts, but “THE” shorts. They are everyone’s and no one’s. But I want to wear them today.
I bring it up later, after Aisling, India, and I have sat on the E street lookout in silence for long enough. We are looking out at the ocean, tumbling, rolling, transfixing, clearly the most beautiful thing for miles and miles. This is the heartbeat for all of the kids that live here, and the most important thing to them. Things like this can’t be bought, and can’t be lost. Not just the ocean, but nature, seasons, moments and experiences. The shoes we wear to the party get us there, and let us dance under the moon with our friends and laugh about what we used to worry about in middle school. Because objects and money are just a way to get to these shared experiences. They are just tools to make memories, and the memory is worth infinitely more than the object.
There is so much beauty to be seen, and shared. We often think of beauty as what we wear or what our makeup or hair looks like, but those things will be forgotten even in a week’s time. The focus is the beauty outside of yourself, and inside of yourself.
Stuff comes and stuff goes, it doesn’t matter what you wear or own, but how you made a moment with it.