Friday May 25. 2001

things I forget

(back in Lebanon)

My mom woke me at 7:30 this morning to take Bessie down to the dealership to be inspected. I was scarcely awake as I drove behind her through Lebanon, and was grateful when I was able to return to my haven, the sofabed, after so little sleep the night before. That's the strange thing about the sofabed: it's so comfortable, yet I rarely get a good night's sleep on it. My mother bestowed a kiss on me before leaving for work. "Let me know if they call...there's always something wrong when it's inspected."

I wasn't really worried, though. Bessie just had gotten new brakes, and she wasn't even that old, either. I was sure it would be fine. I sank back into sleep, only to be woken, repeatedly, by the phone. First a call for Lauren, then my Dad, then it was someone from the dealership. Apparently Bessie's number was up.

First of all, they couldn't even inspect the car because I didn't have the right registration papers (of course, they didn't hesitate to charge $21 for the inspection anyway). Then this chick starts listing what's wrong with my Bessie - I don't remember much - new wiper blades, something about rotors, the brakes were fucked up, oh...and $670.

I remember that number quite clearly.

After I got off the phone, I cried, screamed, hit various walls with my fists. Charcoal looked on from one corner of the room, probably wondering what had possessed me. I called my mom first, then John, woke him up, and cried piteously to him for 45 minutes. After he calmed me down, I felt much better, but I didn't know what I was going to do. I don't even HAVE that much money. I know my parents don't have that much money to give me.

After I finished crying, I got a little pissed. I have a distinct feeling I'm being fucked with here. How can the brakes I got barely three months ago be no good? WHY IS EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD BENT ON FUCKING UP MY LIFE?

*sigh* My poor sick Bessie.

I went out to dinner last night with Meghan, a friend from high school.It's funny the people you keep in contact with from that period of your life. There are people who you considered to be your best friends who you haven't talked to in months, and then there are people who just keep popping up in your life unexpectedly, and even if you haven't talked to them in awhile, you still find some common ground and compare and contrast your life experiences.

Such is Meghan. She wasn't, I felt, a person I was really tight with throughout middle and high school, but she was always just there, from seventh grade on. In chorus sitting next to me, in orchestra playing the cello while I toiled behind the piano. She reminded me of eighth grade, when we sat together at lunch, just the two of us, every day. I didn't even remember this. I don't remember what we talked about. She kept reminding me of all these things that I had forgotten about from high school and middle school. She rattled off teachers' names that were once so familiar but now sounded foreign and strange in my mouth.

We waited almost an hour to get seated at the Olive Garden (which is rapidly becoming a place for 16-year-olds to go on dates, I've found). This was by design, I had chosen it because I knew on a Friday night there would be an astronomically long wait, and sure enough, we walked in and the entire foyer was filled with people holding their little restaurant beepers. We got ours, and spent the next hour wandering through Pier One Imports, catching up.

It's funny how we just didn't know what was going on with ourselves or each other. How emotionally oblivious we were, stumbling through high school, hiding how we really felt from the people we thought were our closest friends.

"I wish I could go back 3 or 4 years to where I was then and just tell my 16 year old self it was going to be okay," I said. "I hated myself. I wish I knew I was going to have the confidence that I do now. I wish I knew that someone, someday, was going to love me."

"I was really angry in high school," Meghan sighed. That surprised me. I always thought of her as this tranquil, reserved little center with everyone else swirling around her. If she had been angry, frustrated, or sad, I never knew. Not until now.

It's really weird, high school. That whole period of my life was weird. I went back and read my journal from when I was 14 and 15, and I was astonished how wildly erratic my moods were, and just how inarticulate I was at expressing them. And the self-hatred I wrote about, over and over again, like beating a dead horse. That was a thing that didn't get much better, really, until John came into my life. I've always disliked and distrusted the notion of one person intervening or "saving" another person. But John rescued me. He rescued me from the person I didn't wanted to be.

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One Year Ago:
I see Joni in concert!