we would save so much rent money if we could just set up tents. in brooklyn and la. or wherever and elsewhere. or forever and then some and some.
i am in new jersey. oh! new jersey. i connected with my best childhood friend last night, a girl i grew up with. a sister, of many sorts, for years. family more then even real family. and then, we werent. i moved, to college. she stayed, in new jersey. i did not visit enough. i was done with nj for awhile. i did not want to live there. i wanted new cities, new heights. i could not get my mind around people who didnt. (‘but the world is so BIG! so wonderous! and vast!).
and now, i come home, to my parents tree lined street. it is so lovely here it breaks my heart over and over again that i left, for so long. not geographically so far away from it, but worlds away, in most ways. *i walk down my dead end street to meet her. in the dark night, i am scared of the noise of the crickets, but not so scared, as it is the walk to her house, a walk i took millions of times before. really and literally. i walked there with popsicles, to share, in the summer. i walked there to rally the neighbors for an afternoon of hide and seek. i walked there to play basketball at the hoop on the street after dinner time.
as i got older, i would walk there after school. we went to different schools, her private, me, the only public school kid on the block. she was two grades ahead. we would compare notes from our day: gossip about boys boys and boys. girlfriends. math class. school dances. eventually, it turned into big insane parties when her parents went out of town. drinks. drugs. somehow making it to school the next day, but maybe while on acid. ha. and then heartbreaks and betrayals. serious friend problems. family problems. school problems. money problems. car accidents. deaths. we were not in 5th grade anymore, and life was not about truth or dare and treehouses.
and we get caught up in this life drama. years go by. more years pile on top. i see her in philly, after a concert. briefly. i dont know her friends. she doesnt know mine. some friend of mine is bored with the situation, wants to go to an afterhours club. i depart, quickly; did i invite her to come? my friend of all friends? probably not. i go. im SO cool. i SO know philadelphia. i dont have to hang out at a crowded bar near south st. [ when did i become that? and when did i finally decide, goodbye to that, im not that anymore? ]
so i see her last night. in the backyard of her house when i once hung from monkeybars. before i wore bras. before i knew anything at all about sex. or philosophy. or europe. or poverty. or that presidents may not care for the people.
so i see her, and its all alright. life is alright. we picked up where we left off. we gossip, tons!, about ALL THOSE PEOPLE we went to so many parties with. who married who. who got a good job and who went to rehab. she is lovely and it feels good to be around her. i know her. i KNOW her like i will never know someone from nyc, unless i end up living with them and having ten million conversations with them. and even then they will never have known me when i was such a fresh pure human being. a child full of light. and i will not know them from that state. but i knew her in that state. and i still see it in her when our eyes hit each others above our glasses as we take sips of wine. we are ten years old again. in our heart of hearts, we all have not left that place of being pure-intentioned ten year olds.
i already know when i fall and scape my knee, she will not laugh at me. when i am sad i lose my favorite my little pony. when i cry when second grade is done, bc i just LOVED my teacher. and i also know she will not judge me, if in my 30s, i leave my husband, or he leaves me, or i get embarrisingly fired from a job. she loves me like ten year olds love each other. without judgement and without fear.