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Friday, April 3, 1998
By Paul Ford
I listened to two fifteen year old girls on the train, taking the F home. 11 on Friday night. And the conversations don't change. They stay inane.
"Do you promise not to tell anyone?"
"I like David Berstner. I really do."
"He's so handsome."
"I know. And I really like Cindy, too. She's so perfect, and I'm...I mean, I guess they're a great couple."
"She's a cow. You're so much more beautiful."
"Really? You think?"
"Yes, I do."
"See, you're so lucky. You don't have to worry about David Berstner. Jake is so great."
"I feel lucky. I don't know what would ever make me break up with him. I don't think I ever will break up with him. If we ever do, it would destroy me."
"Oh, I can see you guys growing up and living together forever. In a big loft apartment."
And I wanted to grab the one who likes David Berstner and say--"It gets easier. You'll forget him in four years, entirely, forget his name and all the things you thought about him while listening to bad slow music on the Black radio station." And to the other one, I wanted to say, "It'll be okay. You'll go to college and say goodbye to Jake with great promises, and then you'll find yourself upstate, a little drunk, and in love with a guy named Abeeb who speaks French. I just want to warn you now, before you make any more promises you'll end up breaking."
But of course I didn't say a thing, and the other eavesdroppers stayed quiet and listened as the girls talked. Hearing our own histories and wondering how we made it through to now.