Archive for the 'friends' Category

The Girlfriends

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” -Anais Nin

There are many people in my life that I feel lucky to know. Some have disappeared. Some I have pushed away. Some I have grown out of or vice versa. But the ones I am most grateful for, are the ones that are still here. The women who helped shape the person I am today. Without them I would be incomplete.

Tamara is my longest running friendship. We met in Sunday school at the tender age of 10. She has red hair, and a splatter of freckles across her nose. She’s a bundle of energy, and my mother has always lovingingly refered to her as “Tigger.” She’s got a booming voice, an easy laugh, and a genuine interest in others. As young adolescents, Tam and I questioned our spirituality, tested limits and experienced our first crush and first heartbreak together. I was with her when she found out that her father had terminal cancer. I was one of the first people she called when he died. Her and I fought over a boy named Adam, the same boy who I consider my first and greatest love. The same one I spent two years worshipping, and many more trying to forget. Tamara was there holding my hand when I pushed my first baby boy into the world, and she was a bridesmaid when I said my wedding vows. Long periods of time can pass between us without contact, but I can be assured that every year on my birthday, I’ll get a call from Tamara, and the words between us will flow free and easy.

I first noticed Robynne when I tried out for the Meeker Junior High drill team and miraculously made the cut. One of my first memories of Robynne is a drill sponsored sleepover. We wrote song lyrics and quotes all over our hands. Razorblades in the bathroom stall. Plastic knives from Wendy’s restaurant (yes, they can cut you if you are determined enough.) Robynne and I made ‘zines, typed furiously away at our typewriters, went to Riot Grrrl meetings, learned how to play electric guitars, attended indie shows and stole every book on feminism from the public library. We wrote “slut” on our stomachs and tied up our shirts and got detention and Saturday school. We went to the Homecoming dance as a lesbian couple and bitched when we didn’t receive a souvenir. We dressed up for Halloween and showed up on doorsteps with cigarettes hanging out of our mouths. She was everything I wanted to be and more. Smart, beautiful, and angry. She was my voice of rebellion and she taught me to question everything, to stand up tall and proud, and to fight.

Jewel arrived on the scene around the same time as Robynne. She had pierced nipples and tattoos. She was tough, and yet she didn’t have a single enemy. Jewel and I were constantly laughing, racing through life. We pulled open the emergency exit on the school bus and jumped out the back, running wildly towards home. We huddled together behind the school and smoked bowls before my honors classes and her Auto Shop course. We rode in the backs of trucks, crashed parties, slept around, climbed trees, got dirty, and kept up with the boys. We ate shrooms and rolled down hills and wandered aimlessly around the worst parts of the city. We were invincible. Jenn allowed me to be myself, to let it all out and to not be afraid. She pushed me to drop my inhibitions and to live life and to feel everything. It all went by so fast. And now we’ve borne children and married and we live our little housewife dreams and call each other up every once in awhile to reminisce about our history. And yet, there are times when it all comes rushing back, and I am reminded of the girl I still keep inside.

I met Jeannine when I was 17. We bonded immediately. One day we were being introduced, over a shared cigarette, and the next day we were embracing, as if we had known each other our entire lives. She was my soulmate. Our friendship was intense, fueled by massive amounts of drugs. I spent so many hours sitting on her bed, writing, drawing, painting, listening to music and talking. I smoked Camel Wides and Kools until my throat was raw, and drank bottles of Robutussin and packages of motion sickness pills. I stared into the depths of my soul and Jeannine was always there to tell me that I was okay. Our friendship has been strange, definitely a love/hate sort of thing. We turn our words into weapons and swear to never speak again. We’ve held grudges for years, periods of silence where there was nothing but darkness. And then I would start to ache, it would creep upon me suddenly, and I knew I needed her. I suppose there’s nothing like that friend who has seen you stripped to your core, and looked inside you. Even the ugly, black, rotten parts of you.

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Pictures of Jewel’s visit

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