I remember it all as if it were yesterday. Except yesterday is kind of a blur.
When my old friend Kay, whom I hadn’t laid eyes on since graduating high school in 1999, first tracked me down on the interwebs more than a year ago, we excitedly discussed finding a weekend to visit each other in our respective East Coast cities. Then we totally dropped the ball because we’re lame, boring, 30-something grown-ups now with jobs and responsibilities and whatever.
But when fellow bloggers Nursemyra and Daisyfae invited me to join them (and Shrink Rap, too!) in New York City for a rollicking rendezvous, I made sure to finally squeeze in a visit with Kay. After parting ways with my new friends, I rode the M15 bus up First Avenue to reconnect with an old one for a reunion that was 12 years in the making. Over the next 50 blocks, I took inventory of our history.
Kay and I first became pals in middle school, and I found it in my heart to forgive her when in sixth grade she made out behind the bleachers or wherever kids make out because I certainly never went there, near there, or within a 100-mile radius of there with Jimmy, who was obviously made for me. After drifting in and out of each other’s lives, our friendship was cemented the summer before our senior year during a drunken class trip to Spain. Then we both toiled side by side — I was a co-editor-in-chief and she the photo editor — on the staff of our high school newspaper, The Courier. When deadline was looming and Mountain Dew just wasn’t enough to take the edge off a task that we took very seriously, we’d sneak out to the parking lot and I’d bum her Marlboro Ultra Lights. She was always a bad influence.
Before I could ring the buzzer to her apartment, Kay met me at the doorstep. After OMGs and hugs, she caught me up on her ambitious career, recited the college love story of how she met her boyfriend of nine years and confided that she’s giving serious thought to moving back to Cleveland so her future children will grow up close to their grandparents and extended Italian family. In turn, I told her about my two cats. We’ve both come so far.
We tossed back countless sweet tea vodka and lemonades as well as smoked a few cigarettes — see? bad influence — during a still-stifling Manhattan evening on the back porch of her favorite Upper East Side dive bar, where she and her beau drink for free. Or have a tab. Or were quite possibly stealing. As old friends are ought to do, we began reminiscing about high school. Or, more accurately, Kay waxed nostalgic, because I recall virtually none of it.
Kay: Remember the senior scavenger hunt, and we dug up all of the marigolds in (Hoyt T. Toity’s) lawn?
Me: Umm …
Kay: Remember when (Ima Ho) got knocked up and was sent away to have the baby?
Kay: Remember the kid who got stabbed while we were in Spain?
Me: No. That’s Spanish for “no.” I think.
I am, apparently, the worst person to take a stroll down Memory Lane with. I guess it’s not really Memory Lane without the memory. Just Lane, then.