Sunday, April 30, 2006

89/365 Another Sue

What we both hated: gym class. What we both loved: theater, driving, Equus, Gettysburg, Maurer, Gelsinger, keel, OJ, Fantasyland, Harpers Ferry, Jamie and Ned. What we soon loved: New York, camp, all those men, Bailey’s, husbands, daughters. What we never stopped loving: each other.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

88/365 Ron

When Tim informed Ron that he was in fact listening to the Grateful Dead, Ron was incredulous. How could a band called the Grateful Dead sound like this? Shouldn’t they be heavy metal? To him, the name was an absolute misrepresentation, practically a betrayal.

Friday, April 28, 2006

87/365 Judi

We met when I was 7; she was 6. As an outsider, it was easy to romanticize and envy her triplethood. She had a bike accident, then her teeth capped. I rode that same hill on a borrowed banana-seat bike. The ape-hangar bars shook.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

86/365 Wanda

I hear it’s hard to get her to leave the house now. She’s reputedly a chronic worrier, perhaps with reason. A 1960s photo reveals a killer beauty married to the guy who fathered her kids and would break her heart. Maybe he already had.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

85/365 Matt

All passing traffic sees the full-story portrait on his studio façade. First it’s van Gogh, with whom he may feel affinity. It morphs into Kahlo, who becomes Bush, then Bozo. Einstein. I missed Albert’s transmogrification into Barney Fife, who for me arrived fully formed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

84/365 John

I’ve never seen the man in the cafeteria sitting with Wayne. What possesses me (an introvert) to introduce myself? How do I know I have to know him? I don’t know anything about the talent that lies deep within those hands of his. Yet.

Monday, April 24, 2006

83/365 Alison

Alison asked me why some camels have one hump and some have two. I told her that’s how they have sex. She said, uncertainly, “No it’s not.” I said, “Go ask Dad.” She did. We still honor that great day with tasteful camel commemorabilia.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

82/365 Young Daughters of My Friends and Neighbors

Giulia, Kristina, Emily, Jade, Kyra, Eryn/Erin, Pippin, Quinn, Chaeli, Emma, Maggie, Moriah, Sierra, Meghan, Bharti, Katie/Catie, Claire, Aidan, Abigail, Adelaide, Teresa, Jean, Nora, Anna, Isabel, Fairleigh, Alexandra, Madeline, Natasha, Brooks, Olivia, Florrie, Dory, Ursula, Tikko, Ellis, Greta, Ilse, Francie, Diana, Sarah, Anaii, Renee, Sumaya.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

81/365 Emma,

age 6, sits at the barstool to my left, sipping a Shirley Temple. She’s a curlyblond beauty, the life of the martini party. She’s begun to tell jokes, and Heidi tells her this one: What did the 0 say to the 8? Nice belt.

Friday, April 21, 2006

80/365 Sandy

was a drop-dead gorgeous Maryland dairy farmer whose beauty exceeded anything in the Vogue pages she carelessly flipped through. That I was her roommate no doubt perplexed her many admirers. She left me with a hopeless devotion to AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Crack the Sky.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

79/365 Karl

His birthday began with the ceremonial passing of the senior Olympics torch. Onto the games: We boarded a school bus bound for mini golf (my famous hole-in-one off the Big Apple), bumper cars, roller skating, and laser tag. Could turning 50 be more fun?

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

78/365 Laura

Even if she ever did quit smoking—and why would she?—she would never tell anyone. She’d keep disappearing for seven minutes at a time, shivering in the cold if she had to, keeping hold of the space that every introvert so desperately needs.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

77/365 Danny

Prick. Huckster. Utter bullshitter. Ex-con. Con man. Mooch. Cheat. Thief. Flirt. Serial wedder. Slipshod worker. Liar. Asshole. Assaulter. Check casher under false pretenses. Part Cherokee, allegedly (but so many make that false claim). Beggar. Boozer. Sponger. Cadger. Welsher. And those are his good qualities.

Monday, April 17, 2006

76/365 Ken

I try to explain to my friends that Ken is my husband’s father’s wife’s daughter’s husband, but he steps in and says, “I’m her brother-in-law.” It’s OK to simplify, I realize. I love that he and Karen eloped to Las Vegas. He loves her.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

75/365 Patrick

Patrick was my somewhat nerdy biology partner who could make me laugh through mold growths and dissections. He played a double-reed instrument—was it oboe or bassoon?—and when he’d return from some fetching errand, it was always, “As Johann once said, I’m Bach.”

Saturday, April 15, 2006

74/365 Mary Helen,

normally quick and determined, dragged her feet from Boston Common to the top of the subway’s escalator. At the parking lot she stops, weighs carefully the seventeenness of her daughter and me, glances at the RV, says, “Girls, they’re making love.” So we wait.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

73/365 Marie

She was Noxzema girl, a shocking clone of Russ’s mother, a committed Christian who seemed to draw a lot of male attention. Lisa couldn’t quite understand the Marie pedestal, but it existed. Marie once caught a softball between her knees. That guy was out.

72/365 A Third Dave

He was the part of martychuckanddave I knew the least, despite being around him so much: the notmyboyfriend, notmybestfriend one. Now I suspect he was the most like me, but in ways that kept us slightly distant then. I almost miss him the most.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

71/365 Another Steve

We slipped in and out of this and that dark room, feeding off each other’s needs like vampires, wrapped always in borrowed sheets. After four years of this, he knew when to say, “You’ve grown out of me.” I had. I was almost 20.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

70/365 Suzanne

Her gallery’s filled with art we want; conversations with her flame the desire. For months we’ve been eyeing Victorian watercolors we can’t afford. Now we find ourselves in love with breezy marble knees. The photographer, she whispers provocatively, can print it smaller, half price.

Monday, April 10, 2006

69/365 Craig

When on phone duty at work, he announced my calls to Tim with “It’s that slut you call a wife.” The ensuing years have been filled with further abuse, cattiness, sarcasm, and depravity. Obviously he’s one of the best friends I have ever had.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

68/365 Russ

Roadkill Russ didn’t let anything go to waste. Those barbecued venison ribs were beyond tender. He used to have a job he couldn’t talk about. An expert spelunker, he was with the first search-and-rescue teams at Ground Zero. Maybe you saw him on TV.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

67/365 Another Dave

At the end of my visit, Dave took me out on Bristol Pond. Paddling from the stern, he let me, a young fresh birder, take in the sights. I saw—really saw—my first cedar waxwing that day. I wanted to move to Vermont.

Friday, April 07, 2006

66/365 Sioux

She knew about the whisper a York Peppermint Pattie makes when broken gently next to your ear. I had thought it a well-guarded secret, but she knew. She also had a thing for happy hour and bubbly. It was imperative we become friends.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

65/365 Linda

I don’t know her. For awhile, I knew her son, so we were once or twice introduced. Linda lost her daughter to leukemia, another to an overdose, and finally, her son to AIDS. What words belong here? Do I have to say anything else?

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

64/365 Another Tom

I first saw him at night, playing basketball under the lights. He was wearing this satiny green warmup suit that showed off his assets. Tom was my boyfriend’s golfing buddy-now-pen-pal (they played one hilarious hole per letter). Five years later, I married his brother.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

63/365 Joe

If you had told me that the guy in high school who twice led me on then disappeared would contact me at age 40 to apologize and become one of my best buddies, I would have laughed. Today our friendship thrives on competitive comedy.

Monday, April 03, 2006

62/365 Bobby

I climbed into his two-seater, which climbed into the sky. We flew over my house, our town, then Dan and Susan’s orchard, the apple blossoms in full bloom, the full moon rising. This gift was his way of checking up on me. It helped.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

61/365 Tony

The new guy in our row blocked the view to my seat, so my companions waved to my blank confusion. At the tight squeezepast and startling recognition, I mustered only “Hi. I love your show,” sadly not “That last scene of Big Night? Perfection.”

Saturday, April 01, 2006

60/365 Andrew

Andrew picks up the call, is asked if he’s a homeowner, answers yes. He listens to the long spiel about siding. Says, “Sounds great, but I don’t think my landlord’ll go for it.” “I thought you said you were a homeowner.” “Oh, a homeowner.