Seriously Playing

This cutting board covered in frozen fruit and chocolate had been one of our more winning just-got-home-from-work snacks.

“I mean, more than anything, this makes me realize I probably won’t be dating Logan Lerman, like,  ever.” I popped the rest of the frozen raspberry into my mouth, but continued through the chew. “Don’t laugh, but I really thought I was gonna at some point.”

“Whoa-whoa. Whoa.” La stepped away from the counter and laughed as she held up her own berry-tained hands, joking as if to calm me down. “I never said anything about dating him. I was thinking this whole time that just meeting the guy was enough.” She stepped back toward the counter where me and the snack arrangement sat, pairing a frozen blueberry to a chocolate chip and stuffing them both into her mouth.

I swallowed my berry, enjoyed the slight burn of the iciness, and looked at her thoughtfully from my slouched perch. She’d triggered a realization: “I guess I never thought of doing that. Just being friends.”

She shrugged and raised her eyebrows as if to say “Well, yeah”, but kept her big blue eyes upon me with a softness. I looked down at my dangling feet hanging over the edge, and continued sitting there in my ripped-up, seen-too-many-loads-of-laundry underwear and an oversized Transformer’s tee-shirt, just processing the obvious.  “How weird. I guess I just assumed boys always use friendship as a stepping stone to inevitably date you.” I chuckled, but turned pitifully serious. “And celebrities seem even less safe, you know? Logan Lehrman doesn’t have time to learn to like me forever, only the time to date me for a second.”

It was Larissa’s turn to look thoughtful. “I don’t see myself dating anyone.”

I nodded. “Can you grab the rest of the chocolate chips out of the fridge?”


“Thanks.” Best snack idea ever. “So why not.”

“Because,” she grabbed a handful before passing me the bag (definitely best snack idea ever) “Because I just always find a reason not to.”

“Do you think you’re scared?” I wasn’t sure what I was more excited about: the progress of this conversation or the excessive chocolate binging it called for.

She didn’t run from the question; instead she looked thoughtful. She just kept standing there in the middle of the apartment kitchen, in her own ancient underwear and my old Mighty Ducks shirt.

Was this real life? Was I talking boys with a grown-ass Larissa? In our apartment?

“Maybe, but I don’t think so. It’s just no ones’ really done it for me. Not yet.”

I skipped the berries and went straight for a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips, lost in thought. To no surprise, I was yet again deeply impressed with her wisdom. I do all this worrying about my 18 year old sister…  only to realize there’s so little to be worried about.

Except that this modern day Socrates needed to relax.

“Yo, let’s take a second to reflect on the fact that I literally just bought these berries” I laughed into the nearly empty Trader Joe’s bag.

“Yo fool, I literally just bought these chocolate chips” she laughed back, holding up the empty chocolate chip bag.

You know those cheesy, cheesy tumblr posts that say shit like

“I think that one of my favorite moments is laughing with someone and halfway through realizing how much you enjoy them and their existence.”

That lame stuff?

Well, I felt exactly that. I felt the whole scene. I somehow felt outside the two laughing girls who were pitched up by the fridge in only underwear and stained shirts. I felt them both wondering how the heck did we grow up so different and so the same? It was a scene of absolute welcome, and simultaneously of complete exclusivity. Of battle and of warmth. It was open scene of secrete sisterhood:

Katrina: “Oi, will you give me a massage?”

Larissa: “I knew you were gonna ask that at ‘will.’”

K: “I ache.”

L: “I’m sure you do.”

K: “Did I tell you he asked me to be his girlfriend on Saturday?”

L: “Awkward, I thought you guys were already together.”

K: “Dumb.”

L:“Sorry I know about your life before you do.”

K: “You’ve got a knack for that.”

L: “Tell me something I don’t know.”

K: “Okay, your texts today were so funny.”

L: “You’re right, I didn’t know that. There was no way of knowing you because you didn’t respond.”

K:“Yeah, but that’s how you know they’re good.”


K:“Of all days for you to do laundry, it’s the goddamn day I take my dirty towel to yoga.”

L: “If that’s your way of saying ‘Thank you, Larissa’, then you suck at it.”

K: “I mean also thanks for doing our laundry.”

L: “And yeah I noticed your towel was gone. It made washing only mine really satisfying.”

K: “I fucking bet. God damn it.”

L: “It’s funny.”

K: “Gonna be so funny when I use you’re towel, you mean.”

L: “You already use it to dry your hands, don’t worry, I watch.”

K: [laughs really, really, really loud]

L: “And I love how that green face towel has become your toothpaste towel.”

K: “Yeah, I dunno how that happened, but I went along with it.”

L: “Do you just drizzle toothpaste on it or what?”

K: “To be honest, I don’t know, I kind of black out when I brush my teeth.”

L: [stares blankly at Katrina]

K: “Wait, is that not normal.”

L: “Yeah, no, it’s not. But I’m not fighting it.”

K: “Good.”

L: “Annika sent me a snapchat.”

K: “Let me see.”

L: “She says ‘Feeling better.’”

K: “Yay! She looked pretty bad at work today. “

L: “Poor Anna.”

K: “Oh hey, Andrew and I are going to SB this weekend to visit Genevieve.”

L: “I figured. I think I’m going to Upland that weekend, then going to Oregon the weekend after that.”

K: “I’m excited for our weekends.”

L: “I am, too. And that’s another thing I thought about in the car: I’ve spent so much of my life getting excited for the weekend. Like, the past 5 years.

K: “Right.”

L: “That’s living for only 3 days each week for 5 years. And I spend the rest of my time being Not Excited. It was kind of a sad thought.”

And the brightness of the scene faded until it thudded into the moment. Suddenly I was me again, watching my sister talk like a much older woman, listening to her heavy words and wishing with all my heart I could lift them.

“Don’t say things like that.”
“Why? It’s true.”

And I had no idea what to say back, because she was right.
I was worried all over again. Fuck, I need chocolate. 


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