“I don’t know if this is still Roseabelle, but I’m at Gooseberry for the week…”
An old friend from another lifetime (one of my favorites– lifetimes and friends) is “in town,” aka an hour and a half down the shore. But it’s a non-parenting weekend for me, and what’s a little highway time over twenty-two years?
Everyone was older, and everyone was the same. The kids were all grown up, but I could see the baby faces I remember from back when I was their age and they were just barely in school.
A covid marriage and a covid divorce between us. Photos of cats. Questions about who else we’ve kept in touch with. We ate supper together and it was like I was eighteen again: up late, talking and half-watching CSI (I think), a quilting project in progress, shoulder massages, ice cubes clinking in glasses, talking about guys we like and if anyone has “seen” either of the ghosts lately (Ruby and Norm, the house’s first owners).
The kids and Colleen played Farkle. Tina and Iris and I talked and talked. The rain came and went. The sky got dark.
“You can stay over if you want to– we have comfy recliners. I’d say you could join me and my husband in the bed, but I don’t think he’d go for it.”
When we were both dropping out of college I’d go over to her grandparents’ fabulous house in Edina while she was house sitting, and we’d drink tequila and do other less legal things and sit and smoke in the conservatory while little birds flew around above us, and finally collapse into bed, snuggled up together the way theatre kids do, the way teenage girls do, the way I wish all my girlfriends and I would still do, now. A tangle of limbs and a mild hangover and the incredible ease of being at home in ourselves and our lives and each other– two artists, two actresses, two flower girls: Iris and Rose, so very close and sweet and easy together.