For Alex

Boyhood Holds, friendship should last, I will honor your memory as a symbol of how to be true friend.

Boyhood Holds, friendship should last, I will honor your memory as a symbol of how to be true friend.

      Like Real Friends Do

I heard your voice,

As deep as charcoal is black,

the molasses speed twang,

you needn’t ever try and see through.

I learned to love

The way your voice

would hang on certain words

Elongating like a cat in full stretch,

life….words, you wanted more,

the comma hangs over your story

the way life does for me now,

The way the sky blared both love and anger

the day I had to tell you goodbye.

Your voice was real in my dream;

It hovered,

Somewhere devoid of sadness,

Between boyhood and manhood,

it was there right beside me.

Oddly- or perhaps not-just the day before

I dreamed of you,

Your most adoring fan,

walked with me….

I told her, as they talked of sleep,

“I never remember my dreams”

That night you came to me,

in my dream

Cause real friends hear everything,

Cause real friends check up on you.

I feel your smile from heaven,

Like real friends do.

Organically Grown

You were witness to my first kiss,
my first public appearance in court,
my first wrinkle

my first bad hangover,
you rode in my hideous joke of a car,
You held my first born,
when I planted my rose garden
You were there telling me
“shovel deeper,
and with your company, I discovered
black with richness, new soil,
beneath the sharp metal edge of my trowel.
Every year I added a new rose,
but never have they been as resistant to my harsh pruning,
never as immune to disease, never have their
blossoms been as as silky or fragrant,
as the one I planted with you

False Friendship

I learned a lesson this week, and yes, I’m 43. arghh, it never stops.  I think of it like the uncomfortable scene in Freaks and Geeks when Lindsey was witness to an occurrence of what I call, “false friendship” being showered upon the oblivious special needs teen. A group of boys was busily making sugary prompts to goad this boy who was blind to any wrongs simply as a result of a few missing chromosomes. “They are NOT your friends,” she said, “they are making FUN of you”….negative attention or not this must be what my mom meant when she asked me, why could I not just be fat, dumb and happy growing up?  I am certain now, she just meant, I did not have to impart wisdom on everything….Shit-really?  The unkind tinkering with this boy’s emotions skimmed over him. He was in fact smiling and harnessing the attention as if it were true friendship. Lindsey imparting honesty into the situation lent it no value. It actually ruffled the feathers of the boy unnecessarily and the scene ends with him running off and falling off the bleachers awkwardly onto his arm and breaking it.     

I learned to savor the real value of the honesty nugget myself the other day, calling someone out on their obvious erratic behavior, out of curiosity. It was perhaps a poor attempt at chit chat. The reaction I got was like calling a teenager out on snorting a line of coke. It made me think, And again my mother was correct, “you don’t need to let people in on what your thinking.”  The writer in me often forgets this when I am sitting with a friend who may not be looking for unsolicited advice. Or even want to hear the good intent behind my words.   I compare friendships to either fine chocolates or hard candy. When the friend speaks to you in that sing songie elated voice like a girl in pink, who says smiling radiantly in a false manner “it so nice to see yoooooou?” You wonder, does she actually see “YOU,” and Can I possibly believe her words, when they are delivered in “THAT” tone of voice? It is what it is.  Take it or leave it.  It isn’t t fine chocolate. It’s a lesson in friendship, not a friendship. Again, Fran’s salt caramel or a sugary root beer barrel, you know which one you’d pick.  

After this episode of “false friendship,”  I will practice sucking on a candy this week; without biting into it.  Still the lesson as humiliating as it is, will teach my mouth patience; to busy itself with being shut. As sweet as that toffee buttery candy is, it’s over too soon if the invasive teeth come crushing forth like words that shouldn’t have been spoken; coating the tongue with unintended semantics that carry over until tomorrow.  Humiliation is sometimes still sweet I guess.  I will not give up all hard candy just because I once choked on a piece? But I still prefer chocolate.

Bosom Friend

dedicated to Stephanie, Happy Belated Birthday

Birthday Gift

“Oh the clouds they rolled”
The licorice sticks they blew,
Leroy Brown, John Denver
Brad-next door;
Shared crushes, we knew.
Judge Wapner and Amy Carter…
Our first comedic stint,
Who knew bubbling laughter
Would be life’s predominant flavor, its’ primary tint?
Spying, doorbell ditch,
Evading Sandy’s quiet, but powerful roar
Just the state of being….
Sent us rollicking to the floor
To think, we birthed September girls
In the innocuous year, 2003
We could rightly mimic our fanciful childhood
There’s no more perfect gift
For you and me