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What I do when I am writing but not writing

August 5, 2010

I look at pictures of where the Shelleys lived in Italy. Today was Naples. Also, I researched Cicero’s birthplace. It was not Naples, but Mary thought it was. And then today I tried to find a lost friend who turned into an enemy. She was my best friend in grade school; she courted me away from my previous best friend. We had a halcyon year: making fun of other girls and having many unkind secrets. My mother did not approve. She said, “Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.” But I have always been a one basket, all eggs kind of person which is unfortunate if you want to live a pain free life.

In 7th grade, we switched schools and my best friend switched best friends. When I entered rooms, she and her new best friend poked elbows and laughed (just as she and I had done: retribution, karma). I gathered as many other girls around me as I could, but nothing made me feel better. I was scared to go to school. I couldn’t think of things to say. I would have stopped being friends with me, too.

A few years later, her dad had a heart attack and she wanted me at the funeral. I did not go. I hadn’t forgiven her. I still haven’t, actually. And yet, I have noticed that you can not forgive someone and still have affection, even love for that same person. That is my current position vis a vis this girl. She visited me a few times when we were in college and today I googled her name. But I don’t really know how to spell it and the only person who came up was someone who does yoga in New Zealand. Her mother was a yoga teacher. Maybe she is, too. But New Zealand?

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