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a passionate repentance

Down and Up and Down again

Down and Up and Down again

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may God stand
It's morning, and the dog next door is barking as if it's his personal responsibility to wake up the neighborhood. Now and then his barks have a pleading sound, and occaisionally he breaks down and howls. I haven't heard a lot of dogs howling, simply because I haven't been around a lot of dogs. None of ours howled. I've read that dogs howl when people die, or when ghosts pass by but again I've never heard that, or seen it.

I'm putting off working out. I'm really good at putting things off but I'm especially good at putting that off. I have so many things I've put off, though, that they're starting to achieve a sort of architectural quality. A pyramid of procrastination. I guess you take your sense of achievement where you can.

I found myself thinking today about all the friends I don't keep contact with any more. Where they are and what they're doing. If they're well. I hope so. I've met some really good people, and I hope they all are having good and happy lives. I wish I could find them, but I don't even know last names for some of them. Friends when I was a kid, when your world was small and you didn't think two people with the name "Roxanne" existed in the whole world.

Too, you don't know, or rather I don't know if I'd still be friends with them. The reasons why you become friends change and the reasons you remain friends change. I met one girl that I knew in elementary school. Robin. I used to think she and her sister Laura were the prettiest and the most sophisticated and the most *feminine* girls in the whole world. They weren't tomboys like me, and they never got their clothes dirty, and they knew how to talk to boys without acting like complete geeks.

I liked their mother, Dorothy, even though she tried to teach me to swim. Rather she made me try to learn and I was terrified of it. I would desperately try to think of excuses all the way to her house so that I wouldn't have to get into the pool. At the same time I was fascinated by the pool. I mean, I liked playing in the water, but I wanted to have my water wings. Without them I felt naked and scared and I sank really well.

I've changed, in a lot more ways than just all the weight I've gained. I'm married, I've held a job, I've done stupid things and smart things, I've had all night parties where I've played Dungeons and Dragons, and all night parties where I've sat at Dennys and consumed cup after cup of really *bad* coffee while I and a couple of friends solved the problems of the world. I didn't *think* I'd changed all that much. Except for the weight.

To look at Robin, though..
she was tall and curved in on herself like a little old lady. She was thin, but her nails were long and uncut and she scratched at herself with them now and then. Her face was still beautiful, with her clear complexion and black hair, but her eyes were unfocused and her air was abstracted. She rocked back and forth even when she was talking and that wasn't often.

Her sister Laura, who was a little older than Robin and I was a strange copy of her mother on crutches. She even had the same hairstyle, the same method of putting on makeup. But I couldn't really seem to *see* Laura very well.

All my attention was focused on this girl who'd been my best friend. We'd talked for hours. We'd played endless games of make believe on the swings at school. We'd had sleepovers at each other's houses. And I thought when I was growing up that I'd never be as *normal* as Robin. Now listening to her deep voice, with this inflection, as if she used it but little, I had this wierd desire to run away. Because the now-Robin was taking away the then-Robin. Changing her. Changing *me*. And I felt strange and very old.
  • I've actually tried to look a few up, those that still mean something to me in a fond nostalgic way.

    It was definitely awkward.
  • past friends

    I agree with Jereeza. Lovely post.
    Nostalgia is like that. I was about your age when the same thing struck me. About the 'pretty' girls at school that I had known. They were looking 'tired' and frowzy, while I was just getting into wearing flattering clothes, and a bit of make-up.
    I didn't know until meeting these eople years later, that they had even ever noticed me, let alone envied anything about me.
    Apparently I appeared to be more self-assured than I was. Maybe they did too. :-/
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