Until I moved to Orlando, it was rare for me to get 8 whole hours of sleep every night. Why? When I lived in Atlanta i spent random nights having meaningless debates and conversations with friends, usually Delto or Jess. Sitting on the porch with a bottle of cheap wine(read: Arbor Mist over ice), feet propped on the balcony in spring, shivering under blankets next to the portable heater in winter.
Regardless of the season, the patio was our place: we’d discuss everything from religion to politics, history to television, music, random nonsense, whatever came to mind – farting, dating, my lactose intolerance, Delto’s obsession with… Well whatever his obsession at the time might be :). Our cats Milo and Jovi peering at our guests from under the safety of the couch, while Rex the dog flopped on our feet, determined to be a part of the conversation. We’d talk late into the night, talk about one subject then another until someone groaned that it was a “school night” and we’d inevitably shamble back inside.
The patio was like another room in the apartment. I’d wander around Target and Home Depot trying to find plants and Christmas lights and candles and rugs for the patio. How to find citronella candles that looked cute but still got the job done. Adorable green chairs I found on a random trip to Target to buy shampoo and I just had to have them so my friend Kevin shoved them in the backseat of his car and took them home for me. At one point I’d successfully kept a pot of Gerber daisies alive for several months. I added more plants, and my friend Casey installed a ceiling fan on the porch and expertly rigged it so I could turn the Christmas lights on through the same switch. Fancy!!! I swear, all we needed was a. mini fridge and we would have moved out there permanently. We’d wave at neighbors walking by and gossip 227-style and throw the french doors leading into the apartment open so we could hear the stereo. Like every good college student we all had a love for candles (candles, candles everywhere!) So we’d turn out the lights in the apartment and the pation would be lit with the soft glow of candlelight. It was paradise.
Ha! I remember one night staying up with Casey and Justin and Buddy, drinking Jagger bombs and playing Uno attack until 8am… Smoke breaks for the smokers brought us out to the patio at regular intervals. I’d curl up in the papasan chair (this was before the unfortunate Tony/Levi Papasan breaking of 2003) and laugh at the antics of my crazy fools friends… Then we’d shush each other because we didn’t want to wake the neighbors. It was 3 am after all.
I miss those times…the best was finding new things – articles, stories, etc. – and sharing them with my friends. Making fun of each other. Sitting on the porch thinking we knew shit, and we were the shit. Lol. It didn’t matter whether we really knew it all (we didn’t. We didn’t even have a clue) because at the end of the day we were together, you know?
Now that I live in Orlando, patio time is different. Less pine trees, more palm for one thing. The patio is screened in but I can still share it with friends. The green chairs I just had to have are on Kevin’s front porch in GA now and have been replaced on my porch by wooden rockers. I’ve got a new papasan thanks to Levi but it stays in my bedroom. No badass ceiling fan/ trashy Christmas light combo, but still a great corner view to wave at neighbors and talk about randomness. My kitty lives with Delto, and my puppy lives with Jess. I still try to grow plants though, and still get excited about fun things I want to share with my friends only I mostly have to call them on my cell instead of cracking open a bottle of Arbor Mist when they knock on my door. I miss my GA friends. A lot.