Sunday, November 13, 2011

In Anticipation of a Reunion

Every five minutes I go out onto my balcony and stand with one hand on my hip and the fingers of my other hand raised to my eyes to shade them from the sun as I gaze down the street. I am waiting for Ali May, one of the dearest friends I have ever had. Jack keeps on watching me as I get up from the couch and go outside. I just can't wait to see her. It has been nearly three years since I saw her last and that was only briefly, a quick drink at Gourmet Pizza in New Paltz, NY.

Ali May moved to Boulder, CO our junior year of high school and it just about broke my heart. I haven't had a friend like her since. I wonder if I ever will.

So, I am waiting for her to visit me in Italy. In my house with my husband and baby. Wild, isn't it? We have only spoken a couple of times. The logistics of how she is going to get here are characteristically vague. But I know she will come. Once, she walked over five miles to get to my house in a rainstorm at night. That is Ali. She will arrive. That is why I love her. She is totally unpredictable, yet completely dependable all at the same time. I miss her so.

I always wonder how our lives would be different if she didn't move away. How we would have been able to support each other through the battles we each fought in our late teens and early twenties? But life is like that isn't it.

I know I needed her those years. Not just on the phone and by email, but curled up next to me in bed so I could whisper my deepest fears to her in the safety of the dark. I know she needed me too.

Ali and Jack are the two people in my life who can get me to do just about anything. In high school I was defenseless against them both. "come on, Anna!" they would say. I had to go along.

On one of the first warm days of the spring we had to ditch school after lunch to go skinny dipping in the Peterskill on the Mountain in May. The Peterskill is frigid on the hottest day in August. In May it was bone chilling, make you gasp and lose control of your muscles cold. But what a day it was!

I frequently had to sneak out of Ali's house with her to make a bonfire in the woods and join our friends there. A whooping, hollering, laughing, singing, wishing night-- finally falling asleep with our closest girlfriends. Our slender, innocent teenage bodies, shivering, huddled together with our feet stuffed into the same sleeping bag. Waking up with the sun rising--drying the dew on our

Little did we know how perfect those evenings were.

My mother always used to tell me how lucky we were to have such a close group of friends. After I graduated high school and moved to Spain, I became painfully aware of how special my they really were. I have yet to have a friend like Ali.

As I get up again to look down the street toward the train station, I say a little prayer for the little baby girl sleeping in my arms. Please let her have a friend like Ali May. A friend who she can think of and get comfort and strength from even if there are thousands of miles between them and hundreds of days since they saw each other last.

1 comment:

  1. you are such a good writer, now i want to hear more and more about ali may. such a tease. you really know how to bring feeling to your writing. =) miss uuuuuuu and im glad to you moved to spain =))))