we used to spend the time we had between class and soccer (her gymnastics and cheerleading) somewhere off campus, anywhere.
often we’d hurry across the spit-shined bubble of a suburb we grew up in, to applebee’s for potato skins, the only two people in the place at 3:30 on a tuesday, but i still remember those skins.
we just sorta needed to be around one another.
there was something honest and exciting about our friendship…like no one else had tried to befriend the opposite sex before and we were the first. geniuses. increasingly inseperable.
seeds predict a flower, and predicably we became emotionally entagled.
our young hearts and impulsive heads moved faster than our confidence in such matters, and the minefield of that grey zone between love and friendship altered our previously innocent waltz.
a note she wrote me back then said this:
think i’m going for a walk now
i feel a little unsteady
i don’t want nobody to follow me
‘cept maybe you
i could make you happy you know
if you weren’t already
i could do a lot of things
and i do
tell you the truth
i preferthe worst of you
too bad you had to have a better half
she’s not really my type
but i think you two are forever
and i hate to say it but
you’re perfect together
so f*ck you
and your untouchable face
and f*ck you
for existing in the first place
and who am i
that i should be vying for your touch
and who am i
i bet you can’t even tell me that much
i see you and i’m so perplexed
what was i thinking
what will i think of next
where can i hide
in the back room there’s a lamp
that hangs over the pool table
and when the fan is on it swings
gently side to side
there’s a changing constellation
of balls as we are playing
i see orion and say nothing
the only thing i can think of saying
is f*ck you…*
today i love that a note like this came from her.
today i love that my earliest struggles to understand real love and real friendship were with someone i still love and consider my closest friend.
with someone that’s shown me that life is about following your instincts. life deserves to be challenged. a life isn’t something to waste.
someone who is confident to be herself, no matter what.
today i face the hopeful and hopeless moments of heart with confidence and optimism…with faith in the outcome and faith in the process and faith in the journey and faith in where the journey will take me.
i’m paraphasing something i wrote about chalise in a journal back in college when i say that sometimes it’s enough just to know someone like her exists.
yesterday morning i called her and said, “happy birthday, chalise, i miss you.“
“i miss you too,” she said.
happy birthday, cha!
*lyrics she pulled from ani difranco’s ‘untouchable face’, a song i’ve loved ever since.