*This post was written during ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour for September 2015. During Blogapalooz we are given a prompt and we have one hour to post. This is today’s prompt: “Write about a friend or acquaintance from your childhood with whom you’ve lost touch”
We met in freshman year of high school. I was the new girl in our Catholic school. She was the popular girl around. The school had just been made co-ed, which meant that there were more or less two boys per every 38 girl class.
With such a wide offer, we had no other choice than to like the same guy. She dated him first. In Spain, twenty years ago, dating at 14 meant a month long affair, with a few long kisses that then seemed absolutely inappropriate. The innocence… So, she got the guy for the Fall. I had him for Christmas. I still remember what I gave him, a Cleveland Indians cap, just because it looked cute. I would have never imagined back then that I would end up living one state away from their stadium.
Of course, she hated me for that. Let’s just say that dating that guy didn’t help me make any new friends.
Or so I thought. Because when we broke up, and he started dating a girl younger than us (the nerve!), she came to me to see if I wanted to get together and do voodoo to him. Or call his house at 4 am. Or just trash him, or something. We ended up dating his two best friends, thinking in our teenage naivety that he would be pissed. He wasn’t.
But we didn’t care anymore, because soon enough, we were best friends. We spent weekends together at her house or mine, talking about what now seems nonsense, relentlessly exchanged notes in class, traveled together and even covered for each other when we got in trouble, which happened often. She has had asthma attacks in my house, and I have passed out drunk in hers. We danced in bars, on top of bars, on the street… I have vivid memories of singing “Desátame”, by Monica Naranjo until we lost our voices. We got drunk together for the first time, and together we smoked our first cigarette. We also smoked joints, as it was common among Spanish teenagers back then. She was always a little more crazy, I was always a little more carefree.
I was held back in senior year for my good behavior and outstanding studying skills, and she proceeded to start college one year earlier than me. Still, we remained friends through college. Then she met her husband, and I started dating mine. Suddenly college was over.
I moved to Chicago, and she is terrified of planes, which has prevented her for visiting to this day. We attended each other’s weddings, and stayed in touch during our first years of motherhood. But slowly, and probably without us noticing, we started to lose contact. The last time I went to Spain, for seven long weeks last summer, we couldn’t find a good time to meet. She hasn’t met my third baby yet. I haven’t seen her new house. I haven’t heard from her in months, and, to be fair, she hasn’t heard from me. I have always maintained that the burden of keeping the friendships falls on the one who moves away, and to my shame, lately I barely have time for the friends I can actually drink with on a weekly basis.
But maybe I should embrace that burden again, for old time’s sake. In these times of overconnection, getting back in touch should be fairly easy. I will start by sending her the link to this post.
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