Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ghosts Of Cigarettes Past

I went out for ice cream with an old high school friend a couple days ago. This girl (we'll call her Allison), along with one other girl (we'll call her Maddie), were my best friends senior year, but we all just sort of moved away and did our own things afterwards and lost touch. Some of my favorite memories are of the three of us driving around in Maddie's car on Friday nights, smoking cigarettes and ending up at places like Playworld Pizza (a knockoff of Chuck E. Cheese's) or the ice skating rink.

When I lived in Philadelphia and was working an awful secretary job, I randomly got a text from Maddie asking if I wanted to move to Africa with her. I laughed. At that point, it'd been about two years since we'd spoken, and I think it sums up the friendship.

I don't know much about Maddie these days, aside from the little bits of info she shares on Facebook. Allison has changed a lot (although I guess most people do in the course of seven years), but it seems she's kept all her quirky qualities that made her such a good friend, and we ended up talking for nearly two and a half hours.

The conversation progressed naturally from our lives to the lives of those in our class to the future to the looming ten year reunion in three years. We finally came full circle to chatting about our past selves. Back in high school, I was the quintessential painfully shy, straight-A student, and was dealing inwardly with being closeted in a small Southern town. Allison and Maddie were definitely wilder and more confident and, although I remained shy, closeted, and stuck to the books, I'm not sure they both knew how much they helped me relax and prepare for the next phases of life.

Yet, while I was preoccupied with being a closet case, I was unaware of the troubles they were dealing with in their own lives (which aren't my thoughts to share). It's weird to think you can have such close friends and not know so much about each other, and not even want to share. It occurred to me after meeting with Allison that perhaps that's exactly what we all needed at that time. Just people to be with. People to distract us and slightly rebel with to help relieve some of the constant twisting we were all coping with inside.

Allison and I parted with a fun mention that we should all get together and go to Vegas someday. It's one of those things that sounds like a lot of fun (and probably would be a lot of fun) but that will probably never happen, not out of want, but because it's easy to forget the ideas cooked up in times of reminiscence once real life settles back down on the mind.

Who knows? Maybe in a few years I'll get another random text from Maddie requesting my partnership for another foreign journey to another faraway continent. Next time, though, I may actually consider the proposition instead of laughing it off.