Thursday, July 23, 2009
You Never Know Just How You Look Through Other People's Eyes
The religious people in Moi's life frequently tell me, "God is always listening." And the New Agey, whee-oo, spiritshul folk likewise assure me on a regular basis that, "Everything's connected." Then there are the Leviathan-esque skeptics who roll their eyes at me and assert: "Life is nothing more than random coincidence."
I haven't fully worked it out for myself yet, but on occasion, I do get these little tweaks from the universe to remind me that, nope, I really don't hold much faith in the third option. Take this long-lost friend of mine from junior high. I don't know if it works the same way today, but when I went to junior high in the late 1970s, social status was stratified into what we referred to at the time as "cliques."
This long-lost friend occupied the top clique of coolness in my school. Think: Jodi Foster in Foxes cool. She was tall, she was beautiful, she had perfectly feathered hair and a complexion unblemished by anything other than a smattering of freckles on the bridge of her nose. Her Dittos fit like a glove, and her Candies were never scuffed. She smoked cigarettes with the elan of a grown up and taught me to drink whiskey without barfing it back up.
I felt like I'd been granted one of the greatest gifts in the world, to hang out with her and her buddies. Okay, so one of her posse and I hated each other with a white hot passion (it was a boy thing), but my pal, she never judged, never took sides, and somehow managed to remain friends with both of us. She was just that cool. She was smart, too, graduating at the top of our class, and her cultural instincts were always spot on. While everyone else in our graduating class was petitioning for the ubiquitous "Free Bird" as class song, she whipped up a campaign to override the vote with David Bowie's "Changes." We stayed friends until our first year of college when we slowly drifted out of touch.
I've thought about her a few times on and off over the years, but for some reason last week, she popped into my head more strongly than usual, occupying front and center that spot in my cerebral cortex or wherever the heck fire it is that my brain stores its memories, bringing with it a flood of crystal clear reminisces of our six-year-long series of adventures. Several days later? She found me on Facebook and sent me the loveliest email about how she thinks of me on a regular basis and how our time together in school are some of her fondest memories.
And if you don't think I didn't immediately pull out the tattered and battered year book from out of the filing cabinet and have a good gully washing cry over all those fabulous memories, well, you'd be wrong.
Any of you hook up with someone long-lost recently?