To All The Friends I've Loved Before

You loved to sing. I remember that most. Do you remember that song, the one about the dinosaur that you claimed you made up? We watched Beaches more times than I could count; I was Hillary and you were C.C. Bloom, of course. I remember you singing Blondie (One Way or Another) in your bathroom, dancing, naked, holding a washcloth in front of your private bits, like a loincloth. Your parents were divorced and I never felt quite comfortable at your dad’s house. One day, my mom told me you locked yourself in the bathroom at your mom’s and refused to go to your dad’s anymore.

Suddenly, you had a new best friend. She was cooler than me. You made fun of me to impress her, she told me, during gym class. Chismosa. One day, sick and tired of feeling less than, I sat with a different group of girls at lunch. Later, one of the Jessicas told me, “I'm on your side.” What sides?

More than anything, I remember laughing with you. We watched reality TV and went to local shows and cooked together, and laughed. I still make some of your mom’s recipes. For years, you were my source of strength. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for reminding me of my worth, over and over and over again, and making me laugh the whole time

Getting ready to go out was almost more fun than actually going out. I looked forward to putting on makeup together and trying on each other’s clothes, dancing, chugging PBRs and shooting Captain Morgan before heading to a house party or local show. We would go to parties and people watch, standing comfortably in silence together.

You once sent me flowers, because I was feeling lost and without purpose. You’re always ready with a dumb meme, funny video, or ridiculous Reddit stream to cheery me up. When Nolan died, you asked your sister to make herself available for anything I needed, since you live 12 hours away and couldn’t be there yourself.

I’ve known you from Barbies to pretending to be Power Rangers—I’m the pink one!—on the trampoline, to driving lessons and college dorms. (Remember when my mom thought you were a lesbian?) We don’t talk every day, every week, or even every month, sometimes. But when we do, it’s like no time has passed at all