A woman my age should not awake with a smattering of pimples. A cluster of three or four, to the right of my chin where it’s soft and fleshy. More like an odd rash or patch of spider bites from an evening attack (at least someone or something - albeit arachnoid - is enjoying face-sitting fun). Took a couple Valtrex I had on hand from 2007. Don’t ask and not what you think.
It’s a joke of chemistry and derma to deal with pimples and wrinkles simultaneously. Thought that time was left behind in a locker than smelled of white bread and Kraft singles, text books wrapped and taped into brown paper bags, first drunk and a white with burgundy interior Chrysler Cordoba.
September 1979 - June 1983, dear old Centaurus High.
Met up recently with faces from my junior and senior years of high school, an in-real-life afternoon of wine and chat and yearbooks and scrapbooks brought about from online sleuthing and Facebook connections. Back in the day my Girl Scout troop sang, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” I haven’t made many new lately. Acquaintances, absolutely. Gym pals and coffee shop compadres sure. But fresh friends, the kind you call two or three times daily, spend hours doing nothing with, excitedly talking goals and relationships and desires are harder to come by. The past has flooded the present, new old friends with a familiarity in faces and slightly different packaging.
The girl I so envied then, her beauty and spirit and throaty laugh, shares my love of art and yoga. She’s a single Mom staring back at loss and pain with grace and eyes that still smile into tiny crescents. And often.
I’ve kissed and played coy with the boy crush, fulfilling school girl fantasy 26 years later. But now I had the moves, the confident aggressor while he played tune in Tokyo. An ironic, sweet period (perhaps semi colon) at the end of a decades old sentence.
The American Beauty bloomed from modest to glamorous hostess-with-mostess, showing up at my door with a bottle of cold white and pan of warm brownies. She lives vicariously and breathlessly through my words, anticipatory not judging. We mourn alongside her recent, unexpected loss; the parents of high school chums are passing - a quick inventory tells me we've lost at least four.
The best girl friend and now best woman friend pops up daily on caller ID, just checking in, encouraging and listening to fables and foibles. Sharing the kind of sex and boy talk we had no reference for previously (there was one hook up at our mini reunion; it wasn’t me stealing kisses and more).
A former stage ingénue whose apple named Annie didn’t fall far from the talent tree. She’s funny and soulful, jolly and self-deprecating all at once. She’s a one-woman show waiting to happen. I’d buy a ticket front-row center.
Real talk, wisdom and exploration of how we got from there to here and where we go next over sangria and pizza on the couch I bought with my own money.
And it feels like I’m seventeen again. Looking from the outside in, some things never change. I'm a million miles away. Funny how it seems like yesterday...