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For better or worse

June 7, 2012

So much has been going through my head lately, so many people, places and experiences I wish i could revisit and its keeping me awake at night-making me feel jumpy and restless.

Long ago when I was left-handed my favorite friend was named Bernette Witkis. I don’t know if I am remembering to spell her name correctly because when I was six that wasn’t something I paid attention to other than her name seemed magical and cool. She had long straight brown silky hair and dimples. She had a horse that I rode when I was 12 and that was the first time on a horse after one had almost dragged me to my death when I was 4 or 5. He was tall, brown, with a black mane and it terrified me. She was pretty and kind and my first best friend.

Around the corner from my grandmother May’s house lived a girl a bit older than I was and her name was Khristine. I loved seeing her on nights I had dinner at my grandparents, riding my bike around the block, dodging swarms of gnats and trying not to skin my knees when I fell down while riding no handed around the curves. We played in my grandfathers garden, were terrified of her father and adored her mother with her pretty long red hair. Her brothers were a nuisance and blond with bad little boy manners. She was my constant friend and the only one I remember from elementary school. We had  sleep over and she was so nervous she barfed outside of Maria’s Subshop in Towson and then slept for 3 hours on my couch while I anxiously awaited her return so we could watch Solid Gold and dance around my living room. After she got her license and her bad-ass metallic black Mustang muscle car her dad built and gave her she visited me once or twice but since she was terrified to drive on the highway we didn’t catch up that often. She was my first married friend and I was in her wedding in my senior year of high school. I made a baked potato dish for her pre-wedding party that her dad loved and a trifle in a punch bowl she could keep. My dress was puffy and apricot and I felt sad she was marrying so young.

Nell Tapscott and her twin brother John lived down the street from me on Hart Road in Towson, the only house I ever lived in until I became an adult and bought my own house. We road bikes down to the end of our road to see the horses that lived near the radio station. The lady a few houses down had a small chicken coop and I would wake up early to collect eggs and pet her brown aloof ladies.

Kristy Vaughan and I were both latch key kids who liked to play music too loudly and dance around to Prince and Michael Jackson on MTV in our underwear after discussing how to french kiss boys between smoking on the balcony.

Colleen O’Hara had the most perfect breasts ever and was so pretty and funny and the most amazing singer ever. We would sit at her kitchen table in the afternoons and she would tell me about sleazy husbands on her street she would drink with while they leered at her. She had the most perfectly beautiful blond hair and was completely crazy and would do anything. I wished I was her all the time.

David Campbell was a boy I met at skateland. He was much older than I was and in 8th grade took me to his formal at Loyola during his junior year. I got to have fake nails and wear a borrowed formal gown from someone my mom worked with. It was mauve and was a bit too big. It was 1980 something so my hair was LARGE and asymmetrically cut. He was a nice boy who moved to the midwest and I wish I could find him again.

Jen Foster was a trouble finder with me. Jen had the most beautiful curly brown hair, the hugest house and we had so many sleepovers. We met during a play that I was in. I was totally in love with the drummer Gary Carr who gave me a walkman for christmas the year we dated. One of my favorite photos was Jen and I drunk on Halloween at a party that my mom’s friends threw every year. I think I was 14 and I was a flapper in my grandmothers jet beaded tank top and skirt. Feather in my hair and too much black eyeliner.

Tracy. Now Tracyann because that’s what her husband has always called her. We both modified our names and moved away from home as soon as we could. Living lives our parents were always a bit confused by. Her life was more confusing for a while because she didn’t shave her legs anymore and just had babies at home and breastfed them all. We still are madly in love with each other and I am so grateful.

Detta was a delicate pretty punk rocker with amazing clothes and the most wicked sense of humor. She liked to say cunt and fuck a lot first thing in the morning and I adored her for that. She was silly and laughed so easily and always told me she thought I was pretty. We would talk about art and books and music and make snide comments about everyone while we cooked in a tiny little galley kitchen on a big sail boat.  Now she is a librarian and still lives in Nova Scotia and I still have not been to visit her there.

Seth and Donald were friends that became my friends. You really grow up in your early -mid twenties and I grew up with them. That time is so big its hard to put into words that don’t sound like a hallmark card or some story from Readers Digest. I made my best friend, who has stayed my best friend and who loves me despite my crazy shit, ridiculous temper, nitpicky nagging ways and still thinks my ass is hot.

Tomorrow is National Best Friends Day and twenty years ago we had our first date.

Happy anniversary to my husband and friend and love to all you friends that made me who I am now.


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