I talked with my childhood best friend tonight. It was wonderful. We haven’t talked much in the past year, simply because she’s been busy as ever, and I’ve been over in Japan. We still weren’t in the same place tonight (Facebook Messenger video chatting), but being in the same city really helps with the timing thing.
Talking with her always brings up loads of memories from my early childhood, most of them wonderful. There are only a handful of not-so-good ones, though they were all rather impactful. Mostly, though, the good memories come to mind.,. Like the time she and I watched “Lake Placid”, shortly after seeing “Deep Blue Sea”, and we ended up jumping all around on her furniture after the film, somewhat joking, but also somewhat paranoid that a gator would pop out from under the sofas and eat our legs off… Or the time my mom was at work, and my friend invited me to come over, so I left my mom a message on her pager, telling her when and where I was going, and I very clearly stated the phone number of my friend’s house, and repeated it (even though she could look up the number in the school phone book once she was home, if needed), just as was desired if I were to go anywhere while she was gone…, even to be complimented on it later by my mom, but told that I unfortunately had given my mom my mom’s number, not my friend’s house. Those might have even been from the same day…, though I really don’t remember for sure.
For my birthday one year, she and her mom decided to give me some money and a gift bag of macaroni and cheese boxes. Almost every time I went to their house, I would end up eating mac ‘n’ cheese, so they decided it was a perfect present for me. I loved it, of course, for the pure genius of it, as well as the love and attention that went into the present, despite its being quite simple. I really did love mac ‘n’ cheese.
There are two sad memories that always come to mind regarding this best friend. Though, one of them was actually kind of happy, because of what it meant to me. The one memory, the more sad one, was when we were riding the bus for a field trip, and she and I were playing a hand game. She was sitting by the window, back to the window/wall, and I the same for the aisle. The game was this one:
That’s the way
I like it.
That’s the way
I like it.
I got the looks.
You got the books.
In your face.
Brick wall, waterfall
Girl, you think you know it all.
So *poof* with the attitude.
On the *poof*, my friends and I usually made an effort to face palm the other person somewhat, pushing her head away as part of the “Talk to the hand” gesture. However, not everyone did this, I discovered, so, shall we say, competitively as I did. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to face palm someone else, as I wanted to do it first, so as to avoid having it done to me. Well, when the *poof* came along, I was ready and prepared, and I pushed a little harder than necessary in my haste to be first, and my best friend’s head knocked backward against the window with a good noise. I was instantly remorseful, and her immediate upset hurt like no physical pain can. I still feel bad about that now, years and years later, though not in the same, sad way.
The other sad memory was the morning before school that she called me while I was showering. My mom came and brought me the phone while I was in the shower, telling me it was my best friend. I wondered why she was calling so early in the morning, it was even a little excited about the phone call. However, the news of the phone call was not good: angel, her dog, had died that morning. She was calling to let me know, because she knew that I loved Angel, too. Well I was incredibly sad about Angel, one of my favorite dogs, I was also incredibly grateful for the friendship I had – for that is a powerful friendship to make a call so early in the morning about something that could have waited until we got to school. But she wanted me to know before the rest of the world. I was and still am honored.
Gosh, now I have loads of memories piled up with this friend, and memories keep diving into the piles, turning them into something more like a mountain range. I used that only makes sense, when we’re talking about a childhood best friend – there’s so much time and joy and learning spent together as kids. Now she has kids of her own, and almost all I want to do is everything I can to help them have the best possible upbringing in the world.