Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feeling a little off today

Received word the other day that a close friend from childhood passed away. His name was Chris and our first meeting was fifth grade, when this pudgy kid with pink cheeks and pale blond hair came to my elementary school, Corpus Christi. Despite his always being pretty nice, the other kids picked on him pretty merciless. Especially when he went through his break-dancing phase. At the time boys were still pretty yucky to me, so when my family moved to a different part of town, wasn't I surprised to learn that he was my new next-door neighbor?

Over the years we went through different phases I guess. We were friends. When the neighborhood kids played tag and a hide-and-seek game of our own invention called "Release" his driveway was always the base, the hub of our tween life in the neighborhood. We rode bikes in the trails where they'd not yet expanded our housing development. Once I was roller skating and he pushed me down his driveway and I sprained my ankle. He was so upset, but it was okay, I knew it was an accident. Chris was a time helped my little brother pull up onto a tall tree branch, then walked away and let him hang there! He fixed me up with my first boyfriend in 8th grade, and when that boyfriend dumped me he was there to soften the blow. We "went together" for maybe a week, and the first time he ever kissed me, well, I still remember that kiss, which is saying something. Of course 8th grade is a rough and fickle time, and I dumped him after about a week. We remained friends. He took me to my first "real" concert...Iron Maiden. He was there to listen to my woes about boys and parents and school.

And then I don't know what happened. He went to the career center, I was in college prep. We both got jobs, boyfriends/girlfriends, lives. He had issues for sure. Our family moved again to a different part of town while I was in college, and although I'm sure I did, I don't remember saying goodbye or making a tremendous effort to keep in touch. Over a twenty year period I've laid eyes on him five times. I guess you just think, especially in the new electronic age, that you'll catch up sometime. Now I'm realizing too late that I really didn't know much about that guy. Sure, I knew he loved metal, he would do anything for a friend, and that he loved old cars. But as to questions of who he was, what his passions and dreams were, I don't know. In adolescence I was probably too wrapped up in my own head to really get to know him.

Now, at thirty-nine, I'm just now understanding that old phrase "you can't go home again." I'm sad, and I'm trying like mad to regress myself back in time and remember. Thank God I went to the reunion last summer...we had a really good time all being together again. I hope wherever he is he knows that he is missed and loved.

1 comment:

  1. Shannon, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I'm so glad that you have many happy memories with him.