The first thing I would tell Marina Keegan, author of “The opposite of loneliness” is that she’s fucking talented. I also want to apologize for calling her “Monica” when I tried to share her work on Facebook. But I can never tell her this through correspondence or in person because she died at the age of 22 in a car accident. It’s always so tragic when someone with gifts and promise passes away. So many of us have gifts and promise. Thankfully she has left her legacy through her work. She will be evergreen. Marina, whom her former professor described as: “brilliant, kind and idealistic; I hope I never forget that she was also fierce, edgy, and provocative” was a riot. Apparently “if you wanted a smooth ride, Marina wasn’t your vehicle.” She probably would not care that I butchered her name. Wherever she is she’s too busy feeling, writing about it and having a grand ole time.
The woman pictured below is not Marina Keegan and I’m not sure of her identity because I got the photograph from Tumblr. But I feel like she reflects Marina’s spirit, her exuberance. What’s special about Keegan’s work is that she wrote about a time that all of us would die to get back. When things were so raw, urgent and everything was vested with meaning. We lived for those glorious, messy nights when we were reckless and felt that we were invincible. We wanted to connect with the right one, the wrong one, anyone. But who knew that growing up would come so soon and that responsibilities and promises would burden us with some weight. The big girl pants are great but can fit a bit tight. It’s when you feel the most confined that you long for those years when you were completely free. When we literally vibrated with excitement and all of the possibilities were palpable. I don’t wish back the puke in my hair or the complete emotional annihilation from the boy I could have truly loved. But we were so lucky. We had Queen’s to allow us to figure out the angles, to step up and choose the identity to take forward. I don’t want to go back, fuck I’m so much wiser, but cannot help but smile when I think of you, and it all. Thanks, it was fun.