the sun is setting in the place we first became friends and we run up and down the rocks, the hidden trails, slipping down the hills in our inappropriate footwear. we always wear inappropriate footwear. our friendship was founded on this, these unexpected adventures, these drives through the mountains just to clear our heads, these days spent searching for something else. i read a poem in the shadow the sun casts just over the ridge of the mountain and she and i both tear up because this truth is a hard thing to settle on but god – it is worth it. it is always worth it. we are bug bitten and exhausted when we leave, driving away with the sky glinting gold and pink and we talk about the harshness of summer, the way it lacks grace and gentleness like spring and fall but makes up for it in something else, some sort of magic or daydream that neither of us have quite figured out. she says “tired eyes, light heart” and i say “this isn’t real,” over and over and over. none of this feels real. real life isn’t this magical.