Our Knuckles are White.

We live high, our love gorges
on the alcohol we feed it
and it grows all fat and friendly
we have surplus if we need it
we hold on as hard as we can
our knuckles are white
we write letters to each other
invent secrets to confess to
I learn foreign and exotic terms of
endearment by which to address you
we feed fresh fruit to one another
we stay up all night
and I am healthy, I am whole
but I have poor impulse control
and I want to go home
but I am home
we are strong, we are faithful
we are guardians of a rare thing
we pay close careful attention
to the news the morning air brings
we show great loyalty 
to the hard times we’ve been through
We are filled with riches and wonders
Our loves keeps the things it finds
and we dance like drunken sailors
lost at sea, out of our minds
you find shelter somewhere in me
I find great comfort in you
and I keep you safe from harm
you hold me in your arms
and I want to go home
but I am home

Sometimes, you hear the right song at the right time and it hits you like a ton of bricks.

Over the past 3 months, I, as well as many of my friends, have been listening to a lot of The Mountain Goats. Not only because they are fantastic, but mostly for our friend. For whatever reason, the band rarely comes up on my iPod.

Today driving home from work, the song “Riches and Wonders” came on. If this song has fists, it would’ve punched me right in the heart. Its a song that I’ve loved for years, but the meaning has changed a little bit since July. Maybe it just caught me off guard today…I’m not sure. But boy, did it strike a sensitive nerve. A thousand memories flashed through my head in an instant. All once happy memories that now just give me a painful nostalgic feeling when I think about the laugh and the smile I will never see or hear again.

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Yesterday I got the best piece of news I’ve gotten in a long time (that doesn’t have to do with the house)…one of my best friends in the entire world got engaged. I’ve known Katie since what seems like the womb, but really since Kindegarten.

Katie and I in my parents kitchen. Yes, we had been drinking. Yes, I apparently thought we were filming a Pantene Pro-V Commercial. 

My very first memory of her is music class at Memorial Elementary School circa 1991. Mrs. Tolland was playing music for us to dance to, but I just sat at my desk because I was too shy to get up and cut a rug. Katie, on the other hand, was doing this spastic dance in aisle next to me. She was dancing around until she slipped and hit her face on her chair. Next thing I knew, there was blood smeared all over the face from a split lip. Exactly one week later, she somehow managed to get a bloody nose. I remember thinking “WHAT is up with this girl??”. As it turned out, she lived about 4 houses down from me. We became fast friends.

Looking back on our early friendship, its amazing that we even became friends in the first place. I liked to play dress-up while Katie wanted to be outside and getting dirty. I hated dirt. I loved playing with Barbies, and she hated them (even though she was Princess Barbie for Halloween one year…I still have the most hilarious photo of her in the Halloween parade!). She cut off her American Girl Doll’s hair playing Hairdresser, while I changed my American Girl Doll’s outfits 12 times a day and refused to take their hair out of the braids that they came in. I think the real reason we became friends is because we were both only children and the only only children (is that grammatically correct? Don’t care) on our street. A true friendship blossomed.

In middle school we started experimenting with our hair and makeup. We used sun-in like it was our job and put on more eye shadow and lipstick than any 7th grader needs. We cut our own hair, and sometimes each others (Katie needed to get her professionally done after I got my hands on it. We thought it looked great…apparently it was a disaster). One time, I cut my own hair and called Katie immediately after:

Me: Hey. I just cut my own bangs!

Katie: Oh my God!!!!!! Why would you do that?!

Me Um, because I wanted to?

Katie: are you okay?? Did it hurt??

Me: …no. Why would it hurt? I’m, curling them now.

Katie: HOW ARE YOU CURLING THEM?????

Me: With a curling iron!!! How else would I curl them???

Katie: YOU ARE CURLING YOUR VEINS WITH A CURLING IRON?!?!?!

Me: Bang, Kate. BANGS. As in my hair.

Katie: OH, good. I was worried.

In 8th grade Katie acquired a huge trampoline. It was positioned underneath a tree and behind the fence in her yard. If you jumped high enough, you could grab onto a branch and pull yourself up into the tree. We would wait for a car to drive by and then pretend to fall out of the tree onto the trampoline. We were horrible, horrible children.

High school was spent reading her cousins Seventeen magazine from the early 90s and surfing online chatrooms. We also rescued a chicken that was found in my backyard & named him Bosh. There IS a reason why we named the chicken “Bosh” and it is a secret I will forever keep and take to my grave. We discovered late night informercials and had the most painful experience of our lives with Nads. Summer nights were spent staying over each others houses and staying up all night just to walk to Dunkin in the morning to get breakfast. One time Katie thought it’d be a good idea to stop at Honey Farms instead and buy the most gigantic piece of beef jerky you’ve ever seen. Half way home she decided she didnt want it anymore and put the rest of it in someone mail box. Your welcome, Main St in Upton.

After high school, I stayed in New England to go to school (all 5 of them) and Katie moved to Maryland. I was worried what would happen to us since we wouldnt be seeing each other everyday anymore. I quickly found out that our friendship could survive a few weeks without talking and a few months without hanging out. We are able to pick right back up where we leave off every time. That is a very rare thing, I feel.

I am so so so happy for Katie and her fiance Bernie. I can’t wait to see them get married and start their new life together (IN MASSACHUSETTS, RIGHT?? not maryland. please, not maryland). They’ve had a long road together and I am so thrilled that the road has no end.

(PS- I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time…writing this entry was the best thing ever)

Loss and Gain.

The past few weeks have had some very high highs and very low lows.

Two weeks ago we found out that our good friend has passed away suddenly. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the reality of it all. It came as such a shock and it was such a freak accident that it hasn’t fully sunk in yet (here is the link to the article about him).

I’ve known people who have died before. Friends, family, acquaintances…but this one was different for me. The only other funeral I can remember going to where something of this magnitude had happened was when I was a freshman in high school and a classmate took his own life. I think I understood what had happened only on the very surface. But, I was too young and disconnected from it all to understand the reality of it. Now that I’m older, I get it. Or, at least I am GETTING it. Trying to.

Its hard to believe that Chad isn’t physically in this world anymore. I am heartbroken that he won’t be at our wedding to celebrate our big day with us. His spirit will be there, for sure.

I found out about his death via ap hone call from my friend on Thursday July 19th. I had addressed his and his girlfriend’s Save The Date the previous night. It’s still sitting in the pile waiting to be sent out…I can’t bear the thought of taking it out. There is stays for now.

The good thing to come out of all of this is how much love and appreciation I realized I had for my dear group of friends. I think they can all agree. I hate that it took a death for su all to come together and realize this, but I am so happy that we could be there for each other over the past few weeks, whether it be sitting next to each other or over the phone. Drew and I have always found it frustrating that we live so far away from everyone (ok, we know its not THAT far away, but ask any other cape cod year-rounder who loves to go over the bridge. Go ahead). I hate getting emails or texts saying that people are meeting up on a Wednesday night for Ethiopian food and knowing that we aren’t able to go with everyone. However, we are going to try harder now. The love that has come out of this situation is absolutely staggering and I want to spread it around as much as I can.

Whats the “high” of this past week? We. Are. Officially. Homeowners. We have a house. Like, to live in. And its ours. Last Thursday morning, July 26th2012, we passed papers and got our keys. We are beyond excited and terrified at the same time. We have a long road of fixing and projects ahead of us, but it will be worth it. I will be happy when the manual labor ends because it’s the WORST. The ladies I work with gave us a bottle of champagne and a gurgling cod pitcher (Cape house- gotta have one!). Because of  Chad’s funeral, Drew working overtime, and friend time-spending, we didn’t have time to be at the house together until this past Monday evening. After ripping up carpets and pulling staples out of the stairs for 2 hours, Drew and I sat on our back porch and passed the champagne bottle back and forth. I can’t wait to make the house our home.