Excerpt from I WOULD LEAVE ME IF I COULD by Halsey. Copyright © 2020 by Halsey. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY. In late summer 2020, when it became clear that no magic spell was going to morph the Some Girls Love Beards And Tattoos It’s Me I’m Some Girls Shirt but in fact I love this fall into a more normal episode of history than the abnormal spring and summer we had endured, among my small sorrows was the realization that I would not see the crew of college roommates with whom I make an annual effort to reunite. We are not the same people we were when we met 20 years ago; we are not even very similar to each other in many ways. But we love each other with devotion built on the intimate knowledge of who we were when we were putting together the pieces of our younger selves.
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When I realized we wouldn’t be seeing each other, I sent my friends a message via our group text on WhatsApp, a picture of a poem from Kate Baer titled (cringingly) “Girls Night Out,” that (nonetheless) encapsulated for me that loss: “In restaurants we argue over who will / pay even though the Some Girls Love Beards And Tattoos It’s Me I’m Some Girls Shirt but in fact I love this real question is / who will confess their children are dull / or their marriage has holes at the knees.” We’d have to wait another year (more?) to get together to share in that specific mode of honesty facilitated by friendships that have lasted two decades.