I just had a wonderful night. I really needed it.
I spent the evening with a very old friend, probably my oldest friend. We met the first day of junior high school. For some reason our english teacher had arranged the room so that there were two lines of desks facing each other on each side of the room, perpendicular to the chalkboard, and a fifth row of desks spanning the rear of the classroom, parallel to the chalkboard. This incredible young woman, who would help to shape much of who I have become, and I were the only two people assigned seats in the back row. Rather odd when I think back on it, but we immediately became friends. It was perfect timing for both of us really. I hadn't really had any friends in elementary school and her group of friends from elementary school had been very trendy, preppy, "pink" girls; she had found industrial rock and writers of substance over the summer and was finding she had less and less in common with them. I on the other hand had been groomed for just this kind of friendship; my parents both listened to good music, my dad having introduced my to alternative rock well before my age hit the double digits, and I was a loner-bookworm, ripe for the befriending.
We became inseparable nearly immediately. Weekends were our world as she lived more than twenty minutes drive from my house and my dad wasn't too keen on driving me there every day. I practically lived at their house from Friday afternoon until Sunday night for years. We just went together beautifully (and to the dismay of our parents we got into trouble beautifully as well). She was smart and funny and sarcastic. All of the qualities that I would someday find I loved in men, only she was my sister; we connected in a way that only young women are truly capable of connecting.
Tonight I discovered, as I've discovered with the two other women who I would be proud to call sisters, that time doesn't change a damn thing about that bond.
The end of high school is a perilous time for intelligent, adventurous, risk-taking young women and that was all too true for us. We did too many drugs, we screwed the wrong guys, we put ourselves in too many risky situations. I would like to say that we all remained unscathed by our risky pursuits, but we didn't. We've all come out of the other end strong, independent, well-defined women with the experiences that have hopefully taught us all the lessons that we'll need to stay the course and live wonderful lives, but that rabbit hole was deep for some of us. Especially the friend I spent this evening with.
I haven't seen her in about four years, but when I did, it was incredible; the years melted away and we fell once again into the familiar, honest, powerfully connected pattern that we'd been in before the various situations in our lives had pulled us apart. We hugged that bare, hold me I miss you hug when we saw each other and did the same twice more before the night was over. We talked as if the time had been seconds rather than years, recounting our own trials and tribulations and our hopes for the present and future. I got to know what her life is like now, she got to learn all about mine. We just talked and talked and talked. Had we not been wandering around the neighborhood, had she not had work the next morning and I a sweetheart to get home to, we would've talked all night. But this, I am confident, will be only the first of a very many conversations that will come in the near future. She shares my disdain for people without direction and ambition, she is working hard to secure her own future, and damn, she's the same girl that I fell in love with more than ten years ago - and that's excellent. With all that's been going wrong in my life lately it's impossible to put into words how wonderful this evening was. I'm so happy to have her back and I'm so glad that she came out of her own challenging rabbit hole an even better woman than when she went in.