We drove to McDonald’s at least once a week in the maroon Saturn Valerie had bought with her own hard-earned money working summers at Colonial Country Club as a lifeguard.
We worshipped that Dollar Menu, always going to the same McDonald’s on High Street that was open late. We took comfort in the sameness of it, our routine, each other.
“Two large Diet Cokes and two large fries,” we’d yell in unison at the stupid black box. We loved the giant paper cups, promptly plunking our straws in and slurping contentedly. Nothing compared to a fountain Diet Coke, especially late at night with lots of homework ahead.
I could never wait til we got back to the dorm to start shoveling the hot, salty fries into my mouth. Shoving food down my throat was so much easier (and more delicious) than talking about whatever was bothering me.
We listened to Valerie’s Pete Townsend tape over and over again, especially “Let My Love Open the Door.” The ten-minute escape from campus, studying and all the noise was always a treat.
Where would we be without our friends to whisk us away? To sit with us and be still, even if we don’t feel like talking? To wrap us in a warm hug, leave a little card in our mailbox, or to call and check in?
I am guilty of being a bad friend lately. Of falling off, hiding out, not staying in touch as well as I should. The reasons are many and varied, but they probably don’t matter. I just hope my real friends understand.
And to the friends I’ve managed to alienate via this blog, life choices, my truths, and whatever else? I’m sorry. I miss you and think of you often.
But I’m still going to write my truths.