I got a call from the past today. Berna, my friend from a decade ago, from when it was fashionable to be young and angry, phoned in to say that she’s in town. That she’s alive. That despite a near-aneurysm from stress, she’s still taking life as it comes.
Two phone cards later, we are back to being talking friends. As if the silence of the past ten years was never really there.
There are, of course, the telltale signs of the times: Sheena and Liam are no longer babies. Sheena, who’s entering college this year, models for Hollister. Liam is 16 and is with the varsity volleyball team. Flighty, activist Berna, who used to list her pastime as “reading 100 books a year,” has settled into her job as crime analyst in LA.
I, on the other hand, am no longer “blissfully” detached. I actually have two attachments: Papa G and our two-year-old Gianna. I have since chucked a stressful writing career for the stresses of motherhood. And I have unflattering curves to show for it.
Still and all, some things are pretty much the same. Our friendship, for one. Funny how 30 minutes of burning telephone lines can erase all those years that we have been in absentia from each other’s realities. We still have the energy to laugh over the foibles of the past and the recurring stupidities of the present. We can rewind the recordings of our lives and go fast forward to the here and now both in the same breath. We remember the exes—some with fondness, others with the compulsion to reach for the barf bag—and exchange notes on the loves of our lives.
We are friends. We are sisters. We are re-connected. And in the tapestry of life, it isn’t so much the number of times you unplug, so long as you keep the connection going. Who’s counting anyway?