November 17th, 2005



When I was 13-14 years old, I was in a gang. I know! It's shocking! But before you unfriend me in horror, take note that we were a gang of total geeky girls who wore polyester and plaid pants (c'mon, it was the SEVENTIES, that's all there was for 13-year-olds), who drew comic books together and sang in choir and ate entire packs of Opal Fruits in the cafeteria while we talked about boys and the slumber party that Jill was hosting that weekend. Becky and I sort of ran the gang, or at least we started it by hanging out together and gradually adding to our entourage of friends.

Becky and I both loved to draw. We drew and drew and drew. We made up and drew comic strips, we filled little school notebooks with drawings, we played drawing games with each other (Ruin the face! Wise butterfly say..., Hangman (with very elaborate hanging men)) and we wrote and illustrated stories and books.

A popular theme was what we were going to be doing when we grew up...we were all going to live very glamorous lives as artists, singers, and movie stars. And then when we got really old, we would all live together and wreak havoc in a nursing home somewhere. That was an ideal dream: staying together. Friends Forever.

It's funny when I think about it now. We all knew better: we were all military brats. We knew that nothing was permanent, that no situation ever stayed the same for long, that people moved on and moved out and disappeared. Most of us in that gang of 13 managed to stay in touch with at least 1 or 2 of the others and most of us met up for a reunion 2 summers ago. It was so cool. And at the same time, it was so weird. We've all changed, become different people, studied different vocations, changed our belief systems, experienced so many different things, grew up. I can still imagine living in that nursing home with Becky someday, though.

It's a fond fantasy: staying together, Friends Forever. If I could, I would figure out a way to live with or near ALL my friends, instead of spread out how we are now all over the globe: in Sweden, Australia, Michigan, Virginia, Oregon, Chicago.... So that I could see them on a daily basis. So we could have a sort of ever-lasting slumber party when we were all in the mood, the kind where you stay up all night talking and half-watching movies and talking and eating junk food and talking and laughing and talking and playing silly games and talking and laughing and, well, you get the idea. There are others, too, people that I haven't even met, that I consider to be this kind of friend (yes, I'm talking to you) that I'm pretty sure would fit right in.

We'd invite our loved ones, and our families, because how could we leave them behind? and I'm sure each of them and each of you would have people to add to the "VIP list" and our little friendship commune would bulge at the seams and grow and grow until suddenly we realized that the WHOLE WORLD was full of our friends and family.

Good grief, that got a little too profound. All this is just by way of saying that Kathey and Russell are leaving tomorrow, and we had our last evening of this visit together tonight at Debbie's house and I love it so much when I have my friends around me. I wish it would never end, but it always does.

In other news, the moon is still full.
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