I miss my friends. I miss my life. I miss the simplicity of that life, back then, when I didn’t know that I would miss my friends. I miss naivety. I miss curfews. I miss innocence. I miss that night when he and I were watching Heathers and he kissed me – my first kiss. I miss him.
Tonight, as I write, I’m sipping a glass of wine. Teardrops trickle down as I reminisce. I had it good. I had it really good.I had parents who loved me and friends who were my identity. I had brothers who protected me and a sister who looked up to me. I had fun – good fun, bad fun, dangerous fun.
I was a smart kid who made dumb decisions, like standing on the back bumper of my friend’s car while she drove 70 down a country road. Hanging onto the roof of her car was exhilarating and freeing – we were immortal. I miss that day, that car. I miss her.
I’m thirty-seven. Did you know that? Thirty-seven is old – it sounds old. Thirty-seven is incomprehensible. Sometimes I say thirty-eight. I don’t mean to – it just comes out – like 38 is inevitable and I’m already owning it.
I found a note from her the other day – the friend with the car. It was in my senior yearbook. April 16, 1991, was written at the top. It was a Tuesday. She wanted to know what we were doing that weekend – she was a planner. I started giggling as I read it – she had made a list of all the “bad fun” things we had done during those four years of high school and wanted to know if we should relive one of them before graduation. Reading her note, I couldn’t help but wonder what we had actually done that weekend. I closed the yearbook, immediately called her, and sent her the note so she could share in my giggle-fest. As expected, she was just as excited to read the note and, even if briefly, travel back with me to senior year.
She remembered more – memories I had long forgotten. She made them fresh again – she made them new. We talked about the night of a hundred stolen pumpkins and the lady whose yard we put them in. We talked about the purse – the paper stuffed purse we strategically placed on the road to entice drivers to pull over, only to snatch it away with fishing wire when they tried to grab it. We talked about the car – the car we “borrowed” from my father when we were 14 – the car that got stuck in reverse when we were at a busy intersection. We reminisced for hours and for a short time, relived our reckless youth.
Those days are long gone, the people far away and those experiences – the building blocks of my life. They stay with me forever; they formed me. I may no longer be 18, naive and immortal. But every now and then it’s nice to travel back and for a moment be that girl. I miss that life. I miss that simplicity. I miss that country road. I think it’s time to call one of those friends.
*Written for an opinion writing class at College of Charleston…but I’m throwing it in here.