Archive for November, 2011
for like 5 seconds one summer, i lived in this house. next door, with the landlord, lived friend forty-three, who i will refer to here as annice, the younger sister of my housemate. she always had a friendly smile and kind word, but that was the extent of it. since then, i’ve seen her once or twice around oakland, and i’ve also learned that she’s a smarty-pants due to my being able to be part of her doctoral research (now, THAT’s what facebook is for. facebook and surveygizmo.). so we’re sort of basically strangers, but i like her anyway.
it’s one in the afternoon.
i’m bleary-eyed and foggy after a week-long trip to the pacific northwest, going broke on donuts and coffee and cute independently produced art. my back is cramped from too many types of beds and my sinuses are going crazy.
but the trip was amazing. it was amazing to see all of the wonderful places i used to know so well. olympia has really barely changed, and then as we were driving out of seattle in the pouring rain, i thought that i could have just as easily wrapped myself in coffee and KEXP as i did when I was 23 years old.
we saw people, but just a select few. those selections always make me feel guilty, but if i saw all of the people i wanted to see in all of the places we spent a day and a half, i would be even less functional today than i am, and i would have been a basketcase all trip, trying to coordinate schedules and transportation. instead, it was just 1 or 2 sets of folks each place. and that was perfect. except for that whole leaving people out thing. someday. someday there will be infinite time to see all of the dear ones. (that’s what facebook is for, right?)
i miss it all, you know. that’s the trouble with me and all the moving i’ve done. there’s always someone to love, but there’s also always someone to miss. there are places that stay achingly the same and there are places that change beyond recognition so you’re afraid of going back. and there are people who hug the same and people who talk the same and people who have lost weight and people who are now in love and people who still knit and people who make you laugh until you cry and people you want to stay up talking to past 3 am and people who have known you since you were a person who embarrasses you now… and i’d like to have you all in my pocket or as my upstairs neighbor, but instead you are flung out and scattered like the stars.
like many of us, when i was in high school and college, i wrote wretchedly bad poetry. my freshman year of college, i tried to get into a much-coveted poetry class with a poem about the chipped silver nailpolish of the girl i had a crush on and a statement of purpose about how i never edited anything. i didn’t get in. friend forty, funnily enough, was the person who had to tell me the news. before that, i think our friendship potential had been quite high, but after that, even though it hadn’t been her decision, i think i got a little distant. which is sad, because this smart girl with a sweet demeanor and smile and actual poetry talent would probably have been a lot of fun to hang out with.
perhaps i have the chance again. we recently ran into each other (she was with friend twenty-nine) at the sfmoma cafe, and made all of those “let’s be facebook friends and really hang out” hopes and promises. i hope it can work out.
my best friend and i used to hang out with this entertaining younger girl who was the daughter of my friend’s parents’ friends… yes. and one evening, she hilariously regaled us with a description of this chicken alarm clock that sang a funny song.
somehow, in college, i wound up telling someone, friend thirty-seven, about this friend telling me about this alarm clock… and SHE HAD THAT ALARM CLOCK. when you are in early adulthood, that is pure magic.
another thing about friend thirty-seven that was magic was her cat. we were next door neighbors for a semester, and during that semester, i got to cat-sit once, which was fantastic.
she also had a really fun boyfriend who came and visited…
and… that’s sort of it. except even though she’s shy and mysterious, and i’m not sure how many other interactions we had, she’s one of my favorite people.
ok. new college.
new college was sort of a haven for weirdos. that was a big part of its charm for me. there were normal people who came, judged and/or were judged, and left. but then there were also the special few normal-seeming people who for some reason managed to thrive there socially, always being friendly to those of us who were waving our freak flags high.
to me, friend thirty-six, “amy,” was one of those rare special people. and ironically, even though she was always friendly and she ran with a crowd of people who weren’t quite normal, i was always a little nervous that somehow her theoretical normalcy and my obvious oddness would clash, and so we never really bonded in the way that i think we could have– because if you thrive at new college, you probably have some charmingly odd characteristics.
since new college, she has married her college sweetheart and apparently been doing roller derby. her smile still seems bright and friendly, at least in facebook photos. maybe someday we’ll talk and i’ll either discover she’s weirder than i thought or i’m not as weird as i thought i was.
friend thirty-nine! oh, friend thirty-nine! friend thirty-nine, “ann marie,” is a newish part of my quaker meeting, and my girlfriend and i both just absolutely adore her. she’s a mom with a great sense of humor, a ton of creativity, a calm demeanor, and a warm smile that makes me want to tell her all the time that her family and mine should become next door neighbors and we can all do art projects all the time.
friend thirty-eight and i worked at the local quaker school together. i was in an office and she got to work with the kids. i was a little jealous of that and also a little awed by her tremendous joyful energy.