Friday, March 2, 2007

Where Are They Now?

I've been lucky. Each stage of my life has produced a friend I've come to cherish. I can think about the milestones in my life and theirs, knowing the ones to come will be shared, talked about, laughed at, cried over: weathered together.

But there are a few people who were as close to me as my clothes, yet somehow dropped off over the years. Usually because I moved - the dash of wanderlust which makes me me was cultured during my father's career moves. Most of which occured before e-mail, and instant messaging, cell phones and free long distance, those handy relationship assistants which keep people connected. So I lost touch with people I readily labeled as best friends back then, when I was climbing trees, or kissing boys, or shakily navigating my way through high school. And I wonder - where are these people now?

Tawana Button, where are you? We were best friends at Elmwood Elementary. You were in my class every year. Do you remember the time Mrs. Brown stopped wearing her wig, and we all saw her with short hair for the first time? Do you remember how we believed with all our hearts that the mysterious hole near the back of the Presbyterian church really was a portal into hell? I wonder if you think about jumping rope with the nuns in the convent across from my house. Their habits made them look like blue butterflies jumping up and down. I moved to New York; your last letter to me said you were moving to California - did you? We had fun, Tawana. Where are you?

Rob Broughton, where are you? You were the literal boy next door. I operated on lightening bugs with you...we never did get one to live without its light, did we? Somewhere in there is a life lesson. Do you remember going to the store around the corner, where the candy bars were a quarter? Or how we used to play with your dog, Candy? I forgive her for biting me; I shouldn't have held my hand out like that. You moved away to Maryland, leaving me in New Jersey. My younger sister ran into you three or four years ago at a party, but you were on a first date who didn't take too kindly to you chatting up some girl, so she didn't get to ask you much about you. I wonder if you still have a scar from that BB gun. Where are you?

Angie Johnson, where are you? I met you in New York. Remember when we memorized the books of the Bible in Sunday School, and my mother got mad because we changed Deuteronomy to Do-It-To-Ron-And-Me? Remember that barbecue our mothers threw for our fathers on Father's Day, or how we used to annoy our parents by plotting sleepovers every time we laid eyes on each other? Remember the crush I had on your brother, which grossed you out? I think about you, after church, letting us coax you into a race. You ran like the wind; we had no business racing you. By the time we took our second stride, you were halfway down the block, long braids flying behind you. Did you run track in high school? Our mothers kept in so-so contact, so I think you're in Atlanta - is that true? Angie J., where are you?

April Weems, where are you, girl? You were my partner in crime every Sunday. We'd go directly to the store after Sunday School, and make our weekly decision: how much allowance went to M&Ms, and how much went to the Lord? I'm afraid God got the short end of that stick more Sundays than not. Then we'd walk back to church... having missed the first ten minutes, and try to act like we'd been in the bathroom the whole time. Remember strategically seating ourselves, so the podium blocked my preacher father's view of us? All the better to pass notes and ponder the future of our non-existent relationships with boys on the other side of the aisle. I remember the day I told you my family was leaving Atlanta, the single tear that slid down your cheek. I was naive, April. I thought I'd see you again for sure. Will that ever come true?

Oh, you guys. I have so much to tell you! You'll never believe what happened. I miss you. Come over soon. :)


Missy said...


MzMannerz said...

To the person who sent a comment with possible contact information for one of my long lost friends, thank you!! I have used it & you have made my day. :)