One summer when I was 14, my parents and I were staying at my great aunt Françoise’s beach house in Woodshole on Cape Cod. There was a WASPy family who had the house next door, which wasn’t quite a mansion but was very large and had a wraparound balcony overlooking the ocean. They also had a son named Basil who was 16 and had blonde hair. One night they had us all over to dinner and their chef served a tasteless lentil salad. Afterwards, Basil invited me out with his friends. I stopped back home to change into an electric blue baby tee from the Gap and secured my bangs back with glitter-covered butterfly clips and as I finished getting ready, I wondered if Basil was going to kiss me and this made me very scared. Basil drove us in his white — or maybe it was tan — Saab convertible to a movie theatre parking lot where some kids smoked cigarettes and ate yellow and pink pre-packaged cotton candy that was stiff and hard to chew. It got late, and I was nervous, so I asked Basil to take me home. He seemed a bit annoyed but said his goodbyes to his friends. We didn’t talk on the drive back. I just remember the feeling of extreme uncoolness when I realized I didn’t hear the sound of Basil’s car backing into his family’s driveway, but going back down the road, to go back out.
Weird how you can totally forget things and then they come back at the oddest of times. Like when you’re making basil lemonade.