Ode To The Old Us

An old journal entry to an old friend. Long lamented, never sent.

Someone once asked me about the closeness of female friends… sisterhood. This might be something like it.


March 2014- New York, NY

You look so beautiful lying there. So serine. So peaceful. It’s nice to see your shoulders down and free of stress, even if you have to be unconscious for it. I’m glad that you at least have your dreams to run away to.

You’re paler than I remember.

*************************************************************

It reminds me of when we were little. You: Blonde curls dancing just behind your pokey ears. Even as a child you were so sure, so graceful. Me, round red Irish cheeks exploding with laughter as I tripped and toppled over my feet and stumbled with my words to express ideas. We’d stay up late nights on our weekly sleepovers, giggling, secrets escaping our lips in hushed whispers, safe in the cover of darkness and a Winnie the Pooh comforter.

It’s funny how long it took us to be friends. I always admired you. You thought you were better than me, and I believed you. This gorgeous, smart, talented, graceful, fearless force. Even my Mom wondered ((aloud)) why I couldn’t be more like you. And boy, did I try. But I always fell just beneath the shadow of your radiant successes. Your courage, your maturity, your fierce independence, your unwavering self confidence, your ambition, your hunger for adventure were the weights coaxing my heavy sighs.

You held my secrets, you were my laughter. My sister. My heart. We grew up together. Faced life and death together. Gave away our hearts and mended them back whole again…together.

You protected me from hash realities no little girl should have to face. You cried the hardest at my mom’s funeral. Because when I lost, you lost. When you hurt, I hurt.

I’ve always compared myself to you. Measured my self worth with your accomplishments.

You were an endless, untouchable flame. You were going to take over the world, and I believed it!

I imagined us at this age, you, off discovering new lands and species and curing cancer and foundations and families and living and full, fruitful life filled to the brim with the viality this world has to offer.

You were the adventurer.

I, timid, awkward, ready to follow.

You’re my best friend, My love for you is immeasurable and incomparable to any other. Because it is endless and unconditional. It’s not obligatory because of a blood union. We are united by spirit. We have no choice.

*************************************************************

Now…

My radiant friend is trapped inside with closed blinds. My adventurer lost her curiosity to explore.

*A sigh of stagnant, lifeless air. *

 I don’t want to lose you.

I can’t lose you.

You are my entire coming-of-age story… you’ve painted every memory with me, danced through life lessons, you’ve been my anchor, my muse, my biggest competition, my best friend and my worst pain in the ass. I love you.

*************************************************************

I remember you used to tan this gorgeous hue of gold effortlessly, any time the sun was out. You coaxed me outside with the promise of endless summer days and boys. You mastered athleticism the way I had mastered sarcasm. With a hair flip, you dominated everyone in your path. You threw on a pair of jogging shorts and a tee shirt we probably found at a thrift somewhere, and easily maneuvered the large city park field like an Olympian. And I, overly, poorly made up (and always dressed inappropriately for the occasion), would sit on the bleachers, skin sizzling into a deep red (to match my unfortunate shade of blush) and wonder if the “ultimate” part of Frisbee was the glistening, shirtless high school seniors.

*************************************************************

But your skin is now an unrecognizable shade of marble-gray. Deep purple hues hang on your eyes forcing them into a half-conscious, swollen gaze. The girl who once embraced the vibrant energy of the living world around her, now has to numb herself just to coexist with it.

Have you eaten?

….Please just fucking eat. How can I care for you from miles, years and identities away?

I know it’s my fault.

Every phone call I never returned. Ignoring the signs. Taking you for your word when you told me everything was “fine”. Pretending you sounded the same. Pretending we were the same.

You sleep in the fetal position, as if holding together what is left of you.

… I keep my promise, crawl over to you, and hold you. Protect you. Love you.

I will hold you for the rest of our lives if that’s what it takes.

 

 

 

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