My pal Emma, my lil car Bianca, some fatty foods, and a drive up the canyon. Not much could happen in such a simple, uneventful day. Right? Wrong.

Days with Emma are usually the same. We have it down to a T. There are steps one must take to have a successful day with Emma and Matthew. They follow as such:

  1. Drive to her house.
  2. Catch up while we drive someplace full of nature and shit.
  3. Arrive at shitty nature place.
  4. Take lots of pictures, groan a lot, rant about vibes, cry.
  5. Drive back to my house listening to gross music.
  6. Stuff our faces with food.
  7. Watch cooking shows.
  8. Complain about taking her home.
  9. Take her home.
  10. Cry the whole way back.

Easy. Simple. So fucking worth it. I’d do it again and again and again.

So I picked her up, the usual, no big deal. I love this girl, so it’s always a mighty treat. She got in my car and we cried over Ed Sheeran for a bit while I showed her some stuff she hadn’t heard, nothing new. But that’s what great about Emma; I can throw up about music to her and she’ll regurgitate right back. It’s fantastic. So anyway, we’re driving, talking about music, desperately desperately looking for a gas station because my light is on and we have a canyon to see. It’s always fun, always real, we talk about boys and how they suck, she always has a new man in her life she is ready and able to tell me all about and I eat it up like candy. Living vicariously through people is what I do best. She’s telling me about this boy she’s trying to capture, she already has a jar with a leaf and everything, when I finally notice a gas station up a head, one that I’ve seen a hundred times before. But the sign is gone so I’m way confused. “No, there isn’t a gas station there anymore,” I say. “Yes, yes there is look!” Emma points out when we are close enough to see all of the individual pumps. Excitedly, I merge into the right lane so I can turn into the Phillip’s 66 and crash right into a car that was trying to gun it past me in my blind spot. Effectively adding a foreign step between 2 and 3. This was not a part of the plan.

It was really scary actually, I have really bad anxiety and this kind of stuff really freaks me out. The girl was waving her arms at me angrily when she pulled up at the gas station and I was so terrified. I couldn’t see the damage on her car yet but I could she she was mad about it no matter how awful. My car wasn’t too bad I thought, and then Emma informed me my door wasn’t opening so that freaked me out even more. The girl pulled up and I could see her car too, it wasn’t too terrible actually,

her driver’s side back door was dented in and right next to the wheel so I was hoping for the best, but I was still scared. Until the tiniest little Asian girl got out of her car and asked me what the heck happened with a huge smile on her face. We explained the predicament, the mystery of the gas station, and the not checking the blind spot and she was way understanding, turns out she was just a year older than me, freshly out of college. It was way chill, no police, no insurance companies called, we would cover her damages with cash and see if I couldn’t get my door to open.

After all was said and done, we took my car to a body shop and they popped out all the dents, getting the door open, and we were finally able to head up a canyon and have our individual nature orgasms. We hit the freeway and decide to go up Little Cottonwood Canyon because it’s not as steep and my poor damaged car will probably have an easier time with it. In the end however, Emma, the canyon guru, reveals to me she doesn’t know any trails up this canyon and/or places to explore and we head back down and turn around and drive up Big Cottonwood, the scary, steep canyon my poor damaged car might not actually make up.

But it does, and Emma and I continue to exchange our usual gossip and give each other advice about things when neither of us have any real life experience and don’t know what we are really doing. (Being a young adult is mainly just a lot of guesswork and crying.) Emma tells me where to go and I listen obediently and she informs me that we are about to hike up to Donut Falls. A place I have heard of but have never actually seen. So I’m immediately both excited and suddenly aware of how unprepared I am for this. I literally said, “I’m gonna bring this empty backpack so it looks like I know what I’m doing.”

Emma made sure to let me know that this was a very easy hike. Tell that to my lungs and balls of my feet. I’m not a very active person. The most I walk is to the kitchen, let’s be honest here people. But I’m always up for a good hike, because in the end it’s so worth it to the nature buff deep inside me. I had a really hard time, and I was so embarrassed. I was heaving, I tried to mask it, but let’s face it you cant mask gasping for air very easily, and I tried not to complain about how my calves were on fire, but I may have mentioned it once or twice. In the end though. Like I said it was so worth it. She told me so many personal experiences she had on this trail and it made it special. We talked about bad book-to-movie adaptations and I nearly

vomited from excitement when I saw the falls. They were smaller than I expected, and neither of us had come prepared to go inside the donut, but it was worth it just looking at it. We sat on a rock in the middle of the falls and tried to catch our breath while we both took really gross pictures and mentally prepared ourselves for the hike down, which was a piece of cake. So beautiful. The lighting. Man. It got really cloudy and we had this huge long chat about how vibes are a thing and we could feel them.

We saw this weird child riding a unicycle through the thicket and a very attractive man asked us how to get to the falls. We took more gross photos and cried when we saw Bianca in the distance. My feet were singing, let me tell you. It rained on our way down the canyon and we listened to Taylor Swift the whole way to Café Rio—our reward for the long hike. I didn’t even finish my salad I was so tired. A first for me in many moons.

Emma and I watched two episodes of Bob’s Burgers, were run away from the lake by my house by a million bugs, got some ice cream, took the long way home back to her house, and now I’m in my bed listening to her “makeout” playlist on Spotify barely able to keep my eyes open. Today was perfect. Eventful, just like the title of this post suggests. A day I really needed, because I haven’t had many eventful days recently and sometimes it’s just what the doctor ordered. I am so emotionally spent from the car accident, and so physically drained from that hike and I can already tell I’m about to get the best sleep this ass has seen in a long long time.

—m.h.

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