36 hours in columbus

not two weeks after hearing about (and naturally falling in love with) maggie rogers — this pharrell-approved, absolute-powerhouse of a nyu grad — she announced her first ever tour… with the nearest show being 659 miles away. and despite never once being away from liam longer than 12 hours, and certainly never once being out of state away from him, i felt i needed to go… even though i had been without a valid license since my 21st birthday.

aaron was instantly on board the moment i mentioned it. jokingly, i told him he only wanted me to go so i would be out of his hair for more than one measly minute. but of course, i knew he’d happily support the idea. after all, he is the one who’s tried time and time again to get me to get the hell out of the house and, on occasion, just be me. no tag-along tiny human to make me “mama.”

i messaged the only columbusian (is it columbusian? columbusite?) i knew: steve (who i prefer to refer to as steve/n because reasons) kemper, aka tumblr’s brick-wall-background, portrait-taking repmekevets, aka my closest had-yet-to-meet internet friend of nearly six years. like any good midwestern gentleman, he graciously opened his home to me and ashleigh, and compiled a list of some of his go-to columbus spots to bring us to.

we arrived at 4 in the morning. played with knives. held steve/n’s beard. ate breakfast at northstar café (twice). drove through downtown. thumbed through records at spoonful. got lost in the maze of books at the book loft in the german village. drank (or did not drink, in my case) beer at seventh son. ate food truck tacos. saw maggie do what she was born to do. spun records. drank (a lot). sat on the famous sky journal ™ balcony. learned about web development. watched shaun of the dead. watched dead like me. watched some strange female murderer mini-series i never caught the name of. slept maybe two hours. stopped by young’s jersey dairy in yellow springs on the way back. met my long-time favourite insta-mama, kristen mittler, aka oldjoy, for an ice cream cone. pet goats. talked babies, travel, music, and the not-so-nice parts of social media. danced (and screamed) along to showtunes in the car. got home at 4 in the morning. remembered the keys were left inside. resorted to scrounging in the parking lot for rocks to throw up at the window to wake aaron up so he could let me in. collapsed into bed. died a bit.

and y’know what? i didn’t cry. not even once.

…okay, i did. but only right as i was hugging and kissing my boys goodbye. i mean, can you blame me? this was a huge step for me. like first-step-on-the-moon huge. the rest was smooth sailing though, honest. i didn’t even have to drink myself to sleep like i thought i would, you guys. although i did drink quite a bit. late into the night. both nights. before falling asleep. but that was for fun, not for ridding myself of my never-been-away-from-liam misery.

i think this means i’m growing up.

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