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14 December, 2007

Ay Oh Way Oh

I'm sitting here after a godawful day (the high point was shovelling the half-foot of snow off the deck steps) and the music pops up "Walk like an Egyptian".

Which gets me thinking about E.

E was my best friend in elementary school, about a year older than I was. We were both in the 'awkward smart kids the school system can't afford to do anything meaningful with' group that were allowed into the chorus in fourth grade. She was a dancer and ice skater -- I never could manage to get through the third level of the intro classes (there were four) and she was learning how to do routines, maybe angling towards competition. She gave me a guppy once. About five generations of guppy; it was pregnant. She had a magic tricks set that I coveted, a sweet calico cat with a purr like a Mack truck, and an obnoxious older brother.

She was the only one who comforted me when I was crying my heart out the day after my grandfather's funeral. The teacher saw her in the corner, nearly scolded her for being out of class, and then saw me there and let us be.

I have this clear memory of her in my parents' living room, singing 'Walk Like an Egyptian' and dancing. I didn't know the song -- it was big at the time, but I was culturally illiterate -- and it was silly and real and very E.

I moved away when I was ten, and was not good at keeping track of my old friends.

She called me six, seven years later. She'd dropped out to take care of her baby. Talked about maybe getting married to the kid's father. And I felt like I'd fallen into a different universe, one where I didn't know the rules anymore. I was tangled up in awkwardness, with not knowing her world. I wished her well, wherever she was, wherever she wound up.

The past is sometimes as hard as the future.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I've actually contemplated a kinda shout-out on my blog... when you get to be 50 years, your life is *filled* with people you've lost contact with and wish you could find. (How did we all get so lost?)

And when we do find them (and I have located a few)... we discover we really don't know them anymore. We are not the people they once knew, and they aren't the people we once knew, either.

I've been studying the Buddhist concept of impermanence, which has been educating me about this phenomenon and what it means to us. (Also, doing the yearly Christmas card ritual and contemplating the fact that I don't know what to say to any of these people!)

So your post fits in with my spiritual study, as it often does my dear Ms. Dw3t-Hthr--and thank you! :)