“The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a porch swing with, never say a word, then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you ever had.”
My little blades... this has been a magical couple of days.
I have loved being away.
I have loved being home again.
I have loved being with my Dad -- tonight, we walked around the quaint town of Cranbury together... He made me a yummy pasta dinner and we sipped wine and chomped on the fresh Jersey tomato, cucumber and lettuce salad and then, we hopped into the Volvo at his suggestion and we drove a few towns away together for ice cream and a walk around town.
It was sooo green and the lake was sparkling and the little kids were writing on the sidewalk with chalk. There was even a chocolate lab at the ice cream shop.
And these was no traffic.
And our dog Molly was panting at the door and smiling as we left. Already awaiting our return.
I thought of how I once lifeguarded in the area. Of how I was like best friends with my friend MJ who lived in Cranbury.
We lifeguarded together and used to throw the chairs into the pool and play underwater jungle gym.
I lifeguarded for a pool called Deer Creek in Plainsboro and we called it Deer Crack. There were two guys who came every day. Designer jean cut-offs, a big fat comb in the back pocket, long straggly hair and their names: Turtle and Worm.
They rode the fork lift at the local Jamesway.
They played loud classic rock. They were eternally stoned -- it was as if they popped out of the womb with a bong attached to their lips.
I used to swim allll day long. A mile a day every day.
Even today -- if I could, I would spend every day in the water.
I dated two nationally ranked swimmers. I lifeguarded for 3 years. (Even at a retirement home -- to give you a sense of my commitment to the water :) And alas... I am a Pisces.
So... driving through Cranbury -- remembering the boy I dated with the yellow Camaro. Driving past the Cranbury Inn which his father owns. And now maybe he owns?
Eating ice cream with my Dad.
Being back in the Garden State.
Ahhh.... on my high school campus, with all these friends back from when I was seventeen, sixteen... Memories are flooding back in and sometimes I find myself almost wanting to cry because those days are gone and then, at the same time, I am THRILLED to being this beautiful new stage of my life. Having my own family.
And when I look at these two men I once loved sooo dearly, I smile. Because they were good ones. Still are.
And if they are a coming attraction to the man I will marry, I am in for quite a life.
Last night when Niambi dropped me off after the smokes and the drinks and the sound of the toads on the water behind Peter's house, my friend Dan got out of the car to walk back to campus to get his car and drive to the "Quality Inn."
And we stood in front of my house and talked for a bit. It felt like -- poof! I am back in high school and my co-peer leader is walking me home from school. It was sticky and summery and like 85 degrees. The front porch light was on and I knew that the back door key was waiting for me, tucked away safely.
And we talked about my visiting him at his shop, and what Todd Wilson said to me senior year. And we hugged.
And then, as I walked into my driveway and up the back porch steps, I smiled...
I felt like -- What a great place I come from. What lovely people I once knew -- and still do. I'm SO lucky that my Dad still lives here. And I get to "come home."
And I vowed right then and there -- somewhere back in the recesses of my heart to never ever settle for anything less than I deserve.
To always remember this golden place from whence I came.
As Niambi turned the car on back at Pete's and I was reaching for the seatbelt strap, I could feel it moving towards me. Dan was helping me out --- without either of us saying a word.
This is what I mean.
About good people.
People who knew you then.
And love you now.
About old loves that never die. You can still see it in their eyes.
About best girlfriends whom you find yourself scratching on the arm as if you were still golden lifeguards sitting in your strappy chairs after a long swim while no one was at the pool and you sipped on ice waters and close your eyes to the sun's bright light.
I am loved.
And I loved.
And being with these kids -- grown-ups -- again, reminded me of me.
And of them.
And of the endless possibilities of this great wide world.
Like -- why not visit Zi-Yah in her cozy Westchester town for dinner one night?
Why not camp with old friends this summer?
Why not dream that I will meet a man half as lovely as the young man I once loved when I was just a kid.
Anything is possible.
And my reunion reminded me of this, last weekend.
And so... my little blades, I leave you with this --
life is golden when we love. when we remember the people whom we have loved. and have the courage to love them again. even more. for this is the way we will be happiest. because it is they who will lead us to the light within all of us. the light that makes this journey heartbreakingly beautiful. worth every little ache and every little joy.
when we reconnect the links, the people, the past with the present, and suddenly the whole world feels like a great big living room we never ever want to leave.
so... sit back tonight and have a drink, take a sigh, and kick up your feet. no TV or books or even the telephone. Just you and your memories. And think of the ones with whom you'd love to reconnect.
And go ahead and do it. Reach out.
I have never ever regretted reaching out -- only the lack thereof.
And on this note, I shall reach out to each and every one of you and send you...