I held her hair back in a ponytail while she puked in the loo. It was auburn and thick in my grasp and I envied her its weight and tone and sheen. I admired her freckles and her translucent skin and I wished for long legs like hers that didn’t meet in the middle and rub together, like mine. And I wanted her C cup to boot and her clothes and her confidence and her smartness. Heather was so ‘very’. But I was slower and rounder and softer and fatter and I bulged and I bulge. Why do we not look in the mirror at fourteen and say: ‘this is exactly who I wish to be?’ What power, what strength I could have had. And I’ll bet I’d have been less likely to put up with that philandering twat who walloped me in the face and the rest, if I’d known what was what and who was who.
Best friends. We were best friends and I loved her. She was mean at times but her sharp manner and prickly bearing only made me want to be her friend more, as though fear was to be respected and her kindness to be won. I admired her. I admired her rabbits and her cats and her dog and her leather jackets and her ability to get to Level 28 in Chuckie Egg. And she had a way, when the notion took her, of shining a light on me. To be in the glow of her attentions was to feel like I’d made it. It was like I met her high, unforgiving standards of success that she placed on herself and those around her. And in a way, I believe that she wanted me to be like her because it was her way of loving. It was her way of being a friend.
But she could not see the goodness in me because I had different dreams. I wanted to say: ‘What are you striving for? Why are you trying so hard to beat time and money and life and everyone around you? Whoever said we could or should have it all should be…corrected. It’s too much. We don’t need it all. We just need enough to get by. The rest is just plastic packaging and polystyrene foam; non-biodegradable clutter. You are exactly who you should be, exactly who you are and the only thing you need to do is be good at being you.’
But I did not say it and with a scuffle and a spark and ruffled quills in the hen house, thirty years of laughter and fighting and adventure and caring and bitching and sharing has come to to an end.
Goodbye Heather. Goodbye and Goodnight.
Image 1: Sourced at excellent blog here: http://ttylusa.wordpress.com/2012/12/05/movie-mania-heathers/
Image 2: Two Old Ladies, Dave Beckerman at http://www.beckermanphoto.com/blog/street-photography-black-and-white/