Lost and Found
Last night as I lay in an insomniac stupor--too tired to get up, too awake to sleep--I thought of someone I haven't thought about in a while, a friend I've lost track of and would love to reconnect with. Throughout elementary, middle and part of high school I had a very good friend named Celia Day. Her mother, who had the cool French name "Edwige," lived in the San Rafael hills, and her father, if I recall, was some sort of broadcast journalist. Celia and I both played the flute for awhile, though she also mastered the piccolo and kept up her pratice, while I went on to drop it after 8th grade. Where I gave up, Celia excelled. She was in GATE, she always won awards and did well in spelling bees and on her SATs, etc. She was smart with a capital S, and mature for her age in the same way that I was--i,e, too much to be socially popular (though Celia had more friends than I did and was WAY smarter). She, along with our friend Erin Wetteroth (another friend I'd like to reconnect with just to know where her path took her), comprised my first ever writing workshop. From fifth grade on, we wrote stories,--in pen, on lined paper--exchanged them with one another and gave each other feedback. I remember Celia's pretty penmanship in red ink crossing out words, questioning my plot choices.
I also remember a trip I took with her family to Tahoe when i was really young--maybe 8 or 9? It was snowy and cold. They took us to this place (can't remember what or where) that had a pond where you throw coins in and make wishes. There was a big, beautiful silver dollar and I asked her parents if I could reach in and get it. They told me i could, only, of course I slipped and fell into the icy cold water. But I got my coin, and her parents laughed with me, and dried me off rather than getting mad. I don't know what made me remember that. It's such a vague memory, and yet I know it really happened.
This is the stuff that comes to me when I am caught between sleeping and waking.
There are other people I'd like to find, too. I went to camp for seven years from age 11-17 and I have lost touch with almost all the people who were my best friends back then. Amy Davidson--also a writer with the most beautiful handwriting and creative talent. I picture her doing something innovative and cool for a living. Mary Bartlett, sister to the boy I lost my virginity to who was a very good listener. Dwight Gleason--what I wouldn't give to hear him perfrom, "I'm going on a Lion Hunt" in his huge baritone voice. Jarrett Topel--who proved to me that boys and girls can be friends without any weirdness. Margie Schneider. Cathy Early.
And even a few high school friends who didn't make it to the reunion this summer. Lucy Kaplan--I can still hear her in my head when I erroneously told her father that she'd let me drive her car. I had driven over a curb right out the gate, and to save face, Lucy said, "It was the wildest first move I ever saw" in this tone that was clearly meant to charm her father out of any potential anger. Gavin Bishop--just a nice guy who I always felt undersold himself. Germaine Faison...
So many people slip out of your life without you even noticing. Isn't it strange?