To Get Over a Summer Love in 12 Hours

4 A.M. The Westin Hotel, San Francisco Airport

You’ve already ended your last full day in California. Today is for traveling, returning to your home, and paying for your own coffee. The boy is no longer here to put your hot mocha with soy milk on his tab, so you’re going to have to dig through your Jansport backpack for your Starbucks gift card. You won’t be paying for your coffee just yet, as you are still asleep outside of the San Francisco airport. The alarm goes off too early. The flight is too early. The trip is ending too early. Put on “s’Rohte-Zäuerli” from Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest hotel. Let the whole album play as you get ready to leave your own hotel, which is not quite the Grand Budapest, but it did its job.

Do not forget your boarding pass. Do not forget to take your medication. Do not forget to eat.

5 A.M. Shuttle to Airport

You forgot to eat, so your stomach will punish you as you take the hotel shuttle. The city is asleep; sing to it and announce your departure with The Avett Brothers’ “I And Love And You.”

Load the car and write the note

Grab your bag and grab your coat

Tell the ones that need to know

We are headed north

If you sing loud enough, the boy who bought you coffee might be able to here you leaving. If you sing loud enough, he might meet you at the airport.

If you sing loud enough, he might buy you coffee.

If you sing loud enough, you might forget about him.

Instead put on your headphones and sneak out of the city silently, Jenny and Johnny’s “While Men Are Dreaming” filling your inner ear.

I left while you were sleeping

While men are dreaming

They know it not a dream.

Was it a dream?

6 A.M. San Francisco International Airport

The airport is quiet. He is not here. Put on “The Swings of Central Park” by Alexandre Desplat. Try to focus on the instruments. Try to remember the movie.

As the song picks up, you move through security. You left your bombs at home, so you made it through. Let the soundtrack of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close keep playing as you pay for your own coffee. Make up your own words to the lyric-less music; it will help keep your brain from obsessing and missing.

7 A.M. Virgin America Flight to LAX

You board your first flight. By this point, you can no longer make up lyrics. You can no longer try to forget him. Let his memory stay. Reminisce. Be sad. You have the right to miss what you had. Keep telling yourself this. Remember his smoke, the way he wanted to quit but hadn’t. Let Ben Howard’s “Old Pine” guide your memories as you fly to Los Angeles, where you first met.

I’ve come to know the friends around you

Are all you’ll always have

Smoke in my lungs, or the echoed stone

Careless and young, free as the birds that fly

With weightless souls now.

8 A.M. Los Angeles International Airport

They forgot to assign you seats on your next flight. You will be running through the L.A. airport, as they forgot to assign your first flight a gate to taxi into. You are delayed. In order to make your next flight, you need to take the energy you’ve been using to miss him and use it to run. The upbeat tempo and funky lyrics of “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” by Vampire Weekend should help you make your flight. If it doesn’t, it’s a good song anyway.

9 A.M. Virgin American Flight to MCO

Although it helped you make your flight, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” did nothing to change your mood. You are simply missing more. Not just him, but California in general. You are missing writing and reading with the author. You are missing the food. You are missing Disneyland. You are missing the OCD conference, where you met him. You are missing the fresh, cold air of Mendocino. Instead you are left with “the stale taste of recycled air” that The Postal Service sing about in “Recycled Air.” Try to breathe the stale air. It is hard, but the music might help. It will make you feel less alone.

I watch the patchwork farms’ slow fade into the ocean’s arms

And from here they can’t see me stare

The stale taste of recycled air

I watch the patchwork farms’ slow fade into the ocean’s arms

Calm down, release your cares

The stale taste of recycled air

10 A.M. Flying Over the West

Keep listening to Ben Gibbard’s voice. If you’re liking The Postal Service, put on “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight.” Ben knows what you’re going through. He knows that he is with another girl. He knows your pain.

And I am finally seeing

Why I was the one worth leaving

If you’re not ready to accept that he is most likely buying some other girl coffee, put on “Marching Bands of Manhattan.”

Sing to him. Let him know that you are willing to do almost anything for him. Not just to get him back, but to see him smile.

Sing to those at the OCD conference. Let them know that you want so badly to take away their illness.

If I could open my mouth

Wide enough for a marching band to march out

They would make your name sing

And bend through alleys and bounce off all the buildings

Your mouth does not open wide enough.

11A.M. Flying Over the Midwest

In order to comprehend what just happened over the past three weeks, put on some childhood music. The girl next to you finally fell asleep, so you don’t have to worry about her judging you as you jam out “Unpack Your Adjectives” from Schoolhouse Rock. If you’re looking for something slightly more sophisticated, try “No One Mourns the Wicked” from the musical Wicked. Your head will fill not with memories of California, not with memories of him, but of memories of you childhood. It is better momentarily, until you remember that Wicked started out in San Francisco.

You want to go back. You want the ramen from Japan Town. You want the overpriced yoga in Sausalito. You want everything that happened.

12 P.M. Flying Over the South

The girl next to you woke up, so quick! Change the music to something cooler. You do have a pixie haircut and you are crocheting, so you better be listening to indie music. Put on your favorite band, 21 Pilots. Some people know who they are, so put on their first album, the one very few people know exist. “Johnny Boy” is a nice track to start with. If the girl next to you falls asleep, you can listen to their better-known songs like “Car Radio” and “Holding Onto You.” Listen to 21 Pilots until you remember that he told you on Rodeo Drive that he liked them. Switch to Bleachers, the band you listened to as you drove through Big Sur. “You’re Still a Mystery” will change your relationship with your memories.

Thought I wanted to forget my past

Tried to leave the pieces of a broken man

What it cost I ain’t ever getting back

So I’m breaking the lines ’cause I wanna remember

You’ve officially given up on trying to get over him by the time you finish the album. Halfway through it you remember he liked it to. He told you via text when you were in Santa Barbara. It’s okay to keep remembering, you realize, since it will be near impossible to forget.

4 P.M. Landing at MCO

As you land in Orlando, just know that you are going to keep missing him for at least two months. If you want to cry about this, put on Kodaline’s “All I Want.” It will make you miss him more. You will cry as you wait for your luggage.

So you brought out the best of me,

A part of me I’ve never seen.

You took my soul and wiped it clean.

Our love was made for movie screens.

If your parents say anything about you crying, say you’re jet lagged. If your brother says anything about you crying, tell him to fuck off. If you say anything about you crying, tell yourself that you are a teenage girl who had her first summer love.

5 P.M. On 417 Heading North

You’re in the car now, driving home. Your parents will put on Bruce Springsteen. Listen to that, but it might be a heartfelt acoustic show and that might make you cry even more. Returning to Florida has made you very emotional. You’re probably just tired, hungry, and heartbroken.

If the Boss isn’t working for you, put on Passenger. His music is melancholy, which is your ideal mood for today. Happy isn’t going to happen, and you need to stop feeling sad. “Community Centre” is good if you want to remember the first night of your trip. You sat in the Support Group at the OCD conference, and his stubbly beard sat next to you. These memories aren’t tainted. You hadn’t fallen for him yet.

6 P.M. Unpacking in Unincorporated Seminole County

You’re home. It has been three weeks of hotels, rental cars, and showers with bad water pressure.

The traveling has caught up with you. Your eyes burn from the late nights spent in L.A. Your calf cramps from walking up the hills in Sausalito. Your brain cannot form sentences from writing so much. Collapse in you bed. Put on Mumford and Son’s “For Those Below.” It will help to heal your near dead body and confused mind.

There will be healing but don’t force this girl to stand

As she’s counting the ceilings with pale voice and trembling hands

7 P.M. Showering

Shower. Leave your bags at the door. Find your toothbrush.

You’re starting to recover. You no longer smell of the author’s cats. Your mouthwash rinses out the last lingering bit of his kiss in the hotel lobby. You cannot wash your brain. “I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else” by A Great Big World will at least remind you that you are not alone.

The stars had aligned

I thought that I found you

And I don’t wanna love somebody else

Oh, we left it all unspoken

Oh, we buried it alive

And now it’s screaming in my head

8 P.M. Sleeping in the Corner Bedroom

As you try to fall asleep, you finally accept that just because he is far away and you are never, ever going to date, you will still be friends. You can still love him. You can still miss him. He is your friend. Your “part-time lover and full-time friend.” Fall asleep to “Anyone Else But You” by The Moldy Peaches.

You’re a part-time lover and a full-time friend.

The monkey on your back is the latest trend.

I don’t see what anyone can see in anyone else but you.

I kiss you on the brain in the shadow of the train,

Kiss you all starry-eyed, my body swingin’ from side to side.

I don’t see what anyone can see in anyone else but you.

You will move on. You will miss him. You will still be friends.

Sleep. You deserve it.


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