80% not responsible, 20% irresponsible. It has been a terrific couple days. I’ve known my best friend since fourth grade. Checking in to our hotel this weekend, chatting up our friendly “concierge,” a/k/a Glen the surfer dude chillin’ at the front desk, we calculated we’ve known one another 38 years. 38 years since we were new girls in Mrs. Peterson’s room. There is nothing like sharing your well, everything, with a friend you’ve known since fourth grade.
We’ve known each other all this time, but we weren’t always, always best friends. In fact, there were times when I was a complete jerk to her and about her. My best friend is the person with whom I’ve been stupid, and have had the good fortune to have been forgiven for my stupidity. When everything was going right in her world, and less right in mine, I wasn’t behaving like the adult I would’ve liked to have been. There were times when I probably should have been kicked to the curb, but that’s the thing about best friends I guess. When it’s worth it, you move forward. You acknowledge the folly. You try to understand more about that person than she (me) deserves. You share a history–some things she remembers, other things you remember, and you know that filling in the memory lapses with your friend of nearly four decades is a rare and precious gift.
The gift of amnesia was more than welcome this weekend. Over the previous four days, I had no responsibilities. I didn’t drive. I didn’t navigate. I didn’t pay. I didn’t talk. Oh sure, we talked, we talked a lot, but we didn’t talk much about the thing. We didn’t talk a whole lot about my before and after. Before the sun even rose this morning I was crying. I cried on my way to the airport, I cried at the terminal, I cried in the plane, and of course I’m crying right now thinking about it. I miss her like crazy. But I did not need to spend every moment of the time I was with her talking about my son and the shit diagnosis he’s been handed. Through my tears I wondered if I squandered the opportunity, but realized that she knows. She’s known me 38 years – she knows.