saturday was chalise’s birthday.

chalise has been openly mad at me twice in the roughly two decades i’ve known her.

(i’m sure there are a few instances during which she hid her distaste for me…but she hid it well)

i remember a beautiful sunny afternoon in my mid-teens,
a slow breeze crawling up over the steep riverbank at the top of which
her parents still have a quaint little home…

we were about to hop into a friend’s convertible.

i don’t know where we were headed, and i don’t know who drove a convertible back then…but i do remember that i’d broken chalise’s trust, told a secret we shared to another close friend…

and she was one angry girl.

i think (and certainly hope) that it was the last time that happened.

the reason this memory comes to mind is simply because i can’t think of a good way to do service to the magnitude of my friendship with this woman using my limited vocabulary. but i can’t think of another person in my life that has an error-less streak that extends back more than ten years.

chalise is an easy person to get wrong.

there are those who’ll see her and think she’s aloof.

that she’s misguided or lost or…well…
maybe a litle crazy? (aren’t we all?)

but what you have to know is that she’s found her way well past self-censorship, and she operates from a place at which action is the rule, rather than just an ideal.

she’s an extremely passionate person with a boatload of style and a long beauty to her that’s so simulataneously strong and delicate that i doubt if she’s ever passed anyone without a second glance.

she’s animated, opinionated, and confident…

it’s all right there on her sleeve for the world to take as they may.

at a bar in bucktown early last winter chalise became the topic of conversation, and i remember the only girl at the table saying that she was a woman that every woman wished she could be.

regardless of the confusions and insecurities that are a natural part of being female (and chalise and i are well close enough that i know the few she has), she excudes an aura of woman-ness that very few in my experience have ever rivaled.

there are friend which transcend time.

people in your life who for whatever reason fit into the parts of your heart that are reserved for family…that area which can withstand almost anything.

i guess you really never know why certain people seem to be eternal friends,

but chalise is one of those people for me,

and that will never change.

happy birthday, girl…and here’s to another decade…

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