I hate to admit it’s been about a month since my last post, but it has. I’ve been away from my home, staying with my mother, in the home I grew up in, for the past 25 days. There are no excuses, except for the ones that are tired, worn, and — even if not said by me — squeezed dry by every writer the world over who continually lets their daily practice slide.
Okay, now that that admission to myself is out of the way, let’s get on with the post.
Tomorrow I am meeting a childhood friend for happy hour and tapas.
This childhood friend is not just any childhood friend to me. This is one who had a powerful formative effect on my life — my ideal in personality, looks, behavior, and whose family was a model for the one I envisioned my own to be some day in the far future. This best friend was my first ever girl crush — hair color the lightest rays of sunlight, eyes blue as shallow water on a Caribbean beach, the tomboy vibe of a right Catholic girl with a lot of energy and nobody paying attention. The youngest of the lot, mischief-seeking and bringing me along for the ride.
I learned to swim in the deep water of her family’s backyard swimming pool, all because I wanted to get to the side she was on. Without knowing it, she pushed me past fears. She took chances I was too afraid to take. She was fearless.
It was a big letdown for me after our final summer. I honestly don’t remember why we stopped playing together on a regular basis after that. There was no triggering event I can recall. I do, though, remember the loneliness and loss of knowing she wasn’t really there anymore.
Last summer, a third friend — a mutual childhood friend, one who completed our three’s-a-crowd — died. Predictably, it was Facebook that brought us back in touch through comments made on the mutual friend’s page. We sent respective condolences and, in turn, friended each other. She suggested I let her know the next time I’m in town.
Five months later, I am.