coffee, and other things.

i feel like my last few posts have been scattered and meaningless. this is not a way that i like to function, and yet it has been the sole way i've been functioning for, oh, bout a week now.

i think its cause the moon is full.
or maybe cause it was my birthday.
dunno. maybe.

also, also this will probably be long, this me trying to get my shit together.

ok, i went out to coffee with a boy that was my best friend for three years or so, 15 years ago or so. we actually went to school together from 7th grade, but we were both shy and difficult, so it took the enforced close quarters of a yearbook class and my having a potent and sharp crush on him for us to become friends. my crush on him ended up wearing off (to come back again, and wear off again, etc), when he got one on me (which did the same), it was that kind of friendship. the kind where one party always wants, secretly or not, to kiss the other, but they both never want it at the same time. high school.

to wit, we both spent a great deal of time dating the other's best friends. he did it fairly graciously, and i, of course, made a big honking mess of it by episode's end.

the funny thing is, all this time later, these 12, 13, 14 years, i have completely forgotten how honking the mess. i remembered the one weekend that the mess all happened and how my girl best friend, alexandra, came home from college to sit on my bed, with my pillow under her butt and my phone under the pillow, to help me ignore the 43 times in something like 10 hours the phone rang, alternately my friend and then his friend. and i remember eventually changing my phone number, and then never being able to remember the new one. and i remember avoiding any place where i ran the chance of bumping into him, or his friend. i even quit my job, bumped up my move to san francisco and, in the meantime, stayed exclusively in my room or backyard. i took in a lot of sunshine and probably as many drugs.

what i don't remember and he does: by our calculations, early in the very week that i moved away, i drove to his apartment. his room was on the second floor, on the corner, and he said he saw my car drive around the block three times before i parked and got out. he said he saw me look up into his window, squinting into the sun. he looked back at me, knowing i couldn't see him through the screen.

i had never been to his apartment. i mean, i had been outside, but never upstairs and certainly never inside. i was scared of his dad. i think he was scared of his dad. i think most people were scared of his dad.

but apparently this day i marched up the stairs (thinking back, i probably had to look at the directory to know the apartment number, but i remember now that it was on keystone street), and went to his door and knocked on it. then banged on it. and then banged on it and called his name out.

he heard all of it. he was inside (which i probably knew, as i had probably seen his car parked outside), he was hiding, thinking that i might actually just turn the doorknob. i wouldn't have, but i probably put my ear up to the door.

i waited, he said, in the hallway, which was both inside and outside at the same time, dark and shady and cool there by the door, while it was still probably a hot day not four feet away. i probably had goosebumps.

anyway i waited, he said, for what seemed to him a long time, and then i went downstairs and stood on the lawn and yelled his name up to the window that was his, all marlon brando-like (probably not, but i do often like to think of myself as marlon brando-like). he has an uncommon name, and i probably sounded dumb.

he told me this story twice, once thursday on the phone and once monday at coffee. after he finished telling me the second time, i asked him what he thought i was doing there that day (this was before we figured out the timeline). he said, "i figured you were trying to say goodbye. it was the last time i saw you, anyway. until now."

this has made me uncommonly sad. i mean, even sad for me.

now, we went and had coffee, he and i (well i had coffee, he had a chicken caesar salad and iced tea), and we talked about him and we talked about me and we talked about art and los angeles and girls with babies. we talked about secrets, and busy streets. and my favorite places and his favorite things.

and it was so strange, because it felt like we had talked yesterday. and not in the way that you think i mean. not in the "nothings changed" way, though it really felt that nothing had. not in the "we picked up right where we left off" way, cause that wasn't really it, either.

but we sat there across from eachother, his art pad by his feet, my knitting bag by mine, in the dappled sunlight, the last time i saw him i don't remember, the last time he saw me i was yelling his name into the sky some day in early august 1994, and we were the same.

everything we had been through and we were the same.

and i don't know how that made me feel. we knew exactly who the other was. now maybe that was dependant on how close we were in the first place (and we were, we were the kind of friends that had an intimate relationship with each other's emotional insides, and probably so because we had no relationship with each others physical insides, though we did, both, have crazy desires to. and i do think that breeds an uncontested, and unmatched, closeness).

but there we were, the same. and i don't know how that made me feel. makes me feel, actually, because i'm still feeling it.

its good and bad. simple, really simple, and pretty complicated, too, because how do we go through, or more particularly, how did i go through all the things i went through in those twelve years - and there were a lot of them! and they hurt, both because they were so good and so bad - but how did i do all of them and come out the other side as the same 19 year old girl he knew, the same one yelling on his front yard?

i like that, in a way.

and in another way...i told him, i told him everything i could think of, both in person and on the phone, trying, i think in a vain way, to say, Look! Look what has happened! i am not the same person!

i think, and he might have said so, but i can't remember, that that's probably exactly what i would have done at 19. it might have been exactly what i was trying to do at his apartment that day.

i dunno. i dunno what to think about that. part of it makes me sad. part of it makes me proud. i guess all of it makes me.


Shanna said…
Ha HA - I'm all caught up! You've been busy...
sue said…
you should start writing zines again - they were so beautiful and fun to read!

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