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Monday, October 24, 2005 

Today I Lost a Partner in Crime (or, the post that told a story, that contained a list, that made you go aaah)

I met Bonnie eight years ago, working at Sears, managing a little kiosk. I was all drunk on power back then.

Just kidding.

I was an eighteen year old kid, out on their own for the first time, working full time, going to school full time, and renting my own apartment while still technically way more innocent than any independent eighteen year old had a right to be.

Baby I was fresh.

And Bonnie was blonde and as loud as I had always wanted to be. This was back when I was still seeking permission to be me.

Tell you a secret, I was so shy people had to tell me to speak up. I woke up everyday with a stomach ache and a headache at the thought of facing the world.

So there she was, asking me to engrave a CAR PART. She asked if I knew what the car part was, and yes I did. I grew up with men sitting around cherry pickers and contemplating whether fishtail lights and power windows were authentic to this particular generation of Pontiac. Baby. I knew what that car part was.

And then she told me a story of street races, big blocks, girls that drove sticks, and crowds of people that did circle eights in the back of pick up trucks down abandoned business parking lots and deserted country roads. When she was done she invited me along, and even though it didn't cure my terminal shyness, it was probably the first step in me becoming who I am today.

Bonnie ruined me.


She also knew the me that no longer exists.

I guess I knew the Bonnie that no longer exists either. I wonder if she misses the old me the way I miss the old her? Have we really changed that much?

Don't answer that.

Today she's driving cross country, starting a new life in New York. She's got a truck full of stuff. Clothes she stole from me, photographs of our strange adventures, the mixed cd's I've made her over the years, and the gifts. The gifts the gifts the gifts. After eight years I've invested a lot of money into her.

She takes her daughter too.

Did I ever tell you that I promised myself a long time ago to marry a man with brothers and sisters? Cool sibs too. Because I want nieces and nephews, I want the illusion of the big immediate family that I never actually had growing up. Except my friends are all having babies now. Babies that scream my name when I walk in, and, much to my suprise, call me Auntie.

It's felt good.

But she's taking one of those babies with her. Fuck.

So, here's a list, not just to her but to all my friends. I hope they don't read this because I'm the type of person that likes to keep all sentimentallity top secret.

My Friends Have

  1. Talked a police officer out of arresting me.
  2. Driven four hours on a ten minute notice to come and get me.
  3. Answered the door and let me sleep in their bed at four am when I had a bad night. Even though we were in our twenties and way too old for sleepovers.
  4. They have told their GF's or BF's that if given an ultimatum they would choose me.
  5. They took shifts on one of the worst weeks of my life and hugged me to sleep when I was [yeah. big internet edit].
  6. They let me yell and they forgave me.
  7. They left me alone and didn't ask questions when I asked them too.
  8. They laughed at my jokes when they weren't funny. When in fact they were sad.
  9. They held my hand at funerals.
  10. They offered couches and guns when I needed them.
  11. They told me I was right when I was obviously wrong.
  12. They told me I was wrong when I needed to get my head out of my ass.
  13. They called me up, four years after an argument, to say they still missed me.
  14. They bought a car, they didn't want or need, so that my pride could accept the money they were offering. It took me two years to realize that one.
  15. They yelled at eachother if one of them made me cry.
  16. They made me cry but said they were sorry.
  17. They drank margaritas in bars that took them two hours to get to, just to tell me how sorry they were.
  18. They wrote letters they forgot to send.
  19. They keep all my letters, in a box, in a closet, and read them when they want to laugh out loud and remember how young we were.
  20. They've given me their last dollar and told me they had more.
  21. They've made memory books and personalized photo frames of us, of our memories, or of poems that simply reminded them of me.
  22. They tell their children to call me auntie.
  23. They tell me I'm like a sister.
  24. They leave the door open and don't answer when I come over, because I'm just expected to walk in.
  25. They say I'm the fixer, the one they call when no one else can help.

and it makes me feel, like maybe, just maybe, I deserve all the good luck I've had.