Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back On The Chain Gang

I have a friend I think about every day. I shouldn't say "friend" because she "de-friended" me a long long time ago, 1986 I believe. I did something terrible to her, stiffed her for the rent I think, mooched her drugs, I can't remember, something of that nature, the details of that particular year are very very hazy, and she lost her place while I was busy losing my mind. (No worries though; I've long since found it.)

Things were kinda crazy back then. Oh to hell with that half-truth; things were very crazy... from about 1979-1987 for me. It's a miracle I survived any day of those particular eight years, come to think about it. But I did, thanks to the self-centered discipline the shark tank of corporate America requires. And here I am, 2007, where I've worked for so long and so very hard on all my issues, improved, learned responsibility and discipline and self-control and hard work a long long time ago. Full adulthood essentially, and I like it that way.

I can't remember anyone being more holier than the next back then, though. We were all pretty deranged and wild. My friend certainly was. But she didn't need trouble like me, so she jettisoned our friendship at the first sign of the fun coming to a screeching halt. She hasn't spoken to me since.

She's lived literally just a few miles from me ever since 1986. The only time I ever crack open a phone book is once a year when they arrive, and I check to see if my old friend is still at the same place nearby. She is. I've never once, in over twenty years now, laid eyes on her, despite us both having lived around Buckhead all this time.

I doubt there's a day that's gone by where I haven't thought about her. I once tried to make amends and repair the friendship in 1987, but I was too tainted, too destructive in her mind to every be anything but an object of her hatred and scorn. I can understand; we all need to have our little squirrely places to go to loath and hate and resent someone, create our little enemy base of operations in our minds and hearts, least we ever start stumbling towards the divine and learn to seriously forgive.

Lord knows I have ugliness in me sometimes I can't begin to describe, and it comes around and worms its evil way into my best and brightest moments even. Just like in some White Stripes song. I have a certain stone I sleep in, when I remember to, that seems to keep the worst of the worst dreams at bay though; I've not a drop of Russian blood in me, but I once read that Russian women, back in the good 'ole imperial days, used to require that their jewelers loan them pieces so they could sleep in the jewels first; only if they had good dreams while they slept would they consent to purchasing a particular gem.

Anyways... back to the story. I can't help but wonder if I'll ever have the opportunity to repair this friendship. I doubt it, as this person made it quite clear that she hates me with every breath she takes. But that doesn't stop me from remembering what wonderful, marvelous friends we once were, and how we met... in a philosophy class...

Sunburned and hungover, my usual condition for classes, when I bothered to show up for any that is, I plopped down in a seat next to her the first day of the term and first day of that class. When I straightened up enough to look around me, I glanced over at __________ and to my utter delight, saw that she had that dyed-black punk hair that was the fashion for about four of us at the Greek-laden, prep-nation school we endured for so long. Mine was sometimes pink. She was also wearing bizzaro Flannery O'Conner cat-eyed glasses. I leaned over and mouthed, "Love those glasses!" We were inseparable from that moment on, until we moved to Atlanta... where all the dark times began.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Talia said...

Oooh. Can't wait to hear more.