Saturday, September 02, 2006

Dilemma

So in a fit of curiosity a while back, I signed up for one of those "find your old school friends" services online-- just the free kind, 'cause I'm not that crazy. But of course most of the people I care about talking to again aren't listed on those things, or I already know how to get in touch with them, so I'd kind of forgotten about it.

However... this evening I got a notice that someone from my past was interested in getting in touch with me. This is a girl I hung out with in my old neighborhood (4th-8th grade), which I have to tell you, wasn't a very nice one. The neighborhood, I meant, but it's true of the girl too. There are those who would have called her family "white trash"; I didn't know what the term meant.

I could mention that she's now a single mom of teenagers and living in North Carolina, cleaning stuff for a living. So probably she hasn't really changed much, although I'm admittedly biased. I remember her laughing uproariously at her older brother's fart jokes. I remember the plaid shirts she used to wear before grunge had made them cool. I remember her stringy red hair and freckles, sometimes under a cowboy hat. Her wide grin, her brassy voice-- usually making a rude comment disguised as humor.

My mixed feelings about whether to reply to her note are curious to me. The years I spent in that place were not mostly happy ones, and the fact that I hung out with people I didn't like or respect embarrasses me. The fact that they feel good about having had me for a friend is nice, and I really want to be a friend to people... love thy neighbor and all that. So I guess I'm having a hard time accepting that I don't love my neighbor when she makes my skin crawl. Must work on that.

1 comment:

Slap-Happy said...

You could still talk to her. I think theres a good chance on both sides that the lack of common experience since then will have you drift apart, and the distance will keep people at arms length, so you are really only out a little bit of writing.

I still talk to guys whose name ends in "-eaux".