Bowling with Angel Davila

age_15The bedroom is a shrine to me. School pictures, soccer pictures, prom pictures, my high school posters, medals, trophies, certificates, kitschy things I bought at thrift stores, old essays, scrapbooks, and shoeboxes filled with nostalgia cover every possible surface in this room. As soon as I walk in, I feel a bit insecure and weird; my high school feelings emerge naturally—joyously even.

It’s taken me seven years to understand how truly awesome I was in high school. And I think my mother misses me more than she lets on.

(photo above: adri at fifteen, high school ID picture)

In my closet there’s a new Izod skort and sleeveless polo and for a second I see what she sees: I am fifteen on the golf course, teasing my mother for having a terrible approach.

This morning in the shower (I do all my best thinking in the shower), I thought about coming home after graduate school. About writing here and living here and assuming control of my father’s company (he just made me Vice-President of Online Development, which means I built the website—I got a business card and everything). I would make a decent living, I would be near two people who adore me, and I would be miserable.

Every day I break their hearts, and some days I just don’t want to live with that.

For moments at a time, I convince myself that I can come home, I can leave behind my wicked ways and become a hard-working real-world business lady. But the phrase “business lady” makes me shiver. I know how much I love being the boss, how competitive I am, how suited I am for the world of international marketing. I speak languages. I enjoy losing at golf, I delegate very well. I’m a good public speaker. I small chat. I want to punch myself in the face.

But when I write—and not necessarily here in the blog (you guys get the raw, unpolished, uncensored, idiotic side of me)—I feel lucid, compos mentis.

Right now my foot is asleep and I’m facing North. Behind me there’s a poster of New York. It says “Happy Buildings.” I bought it in 1996; the Twin Towers are there, smiling. Three walls in this room are pink. One is blue. In front of me a tiny jewelry box. I open it and find a little silver necklace and a note. It reads, “11/22/97 Bowling with Angel Davila. Got in machine for 25¢.”

It’s an ugly necklace.

Ten years ago I wanted to be a JD/MBA, with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Now I’m an MFA candidate in Creative Nonfiction Writing with a B.A. in English, one credit short of a double major in Political Science.

I’m totally proud.

So’s my mom.

There are three pieces of Pittsburgh in this room, three scraps that haven’t yet become nostalgic. The shrine is starting to catch up to me. Although, I think this is the kind of room I cannot live in again. I’ll never live up to my own expectations.