Thought Catalog

Dan Hoopes

His poetry has been featured at 3:AM Magazine.

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Lacking a certain degree of consciousness when choosing potential sleeping locations is a great way to save an otherwise normal night of self-destructive intoxication from becoming just another blacked-out waste of a story. Nobody really cares how trashed you were last night but it may be interesting to know where it took you.

As a fairly normal American white dude who has spent an inordinate amount of time hanging out with my girlfriend’s high school crowd from Singapore, I have observed a few things, some pretty interesting, others that make me question if  I’ve been doing everything wrong my entire life.

I am not the chronic cigarette-bummer. Instead, this is a story of lighters, those fickle and transient objects that slide so easily out of our pockets into the hands of others, as lost as the hazy memories they’re a part of when the din of conversation winds away with the smoke.

We waited on a taxi queue outside the Jones Beach amphitheatre for the twenty minute ride back to the train station. It was around ten and we’d left the show early with a quiet resolution that we had to cut our losses and make it out before the crowd…

We can go back to my dilapidated apartment in one of those old factory row houses that hasn’t been renovated since the Hungarian immigrants moved out a century ago. There, we can drink 40s on the porch, ironically or not, and sow the front lawn with cigarettes while feeling “gritty.”

You two seem to be hitting it off, nice. I’m genuinely happy for you; I know you’ve been on a down streak lately. She seems cool. Meanwhile, I have to answer this text message, and then proceed to admire anything in my field of vision that is not this sullen, bored creature who I am unable to relate with. I’m wondering where the bathroom is, or if I could ever DJ at a place like this. I’m not a DJ. It would be pretty sweet to be a DJ.

It meant checking Facebook on the first decent day of spring and seeing that it was “porch-weather,” or finding people “porching it,” or joining everyone, skipping classes, hauling back cold cases of Yuengling, basking in the radiance of an afternoon marked with nothing but conversation and the lazy strumming of guitars.

In the early years of the new millennium, as a fresh-faced middle school kid with a crew of similarly inclined counterparts and a lot of time to kill, I spent so many afternoons of my transition to semi-adulthood with the mall as my oyster…

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