Me vs. Mont Eagle

Facebook is a lovely invention. Yeah, I know, the code is clunky, the privacy level gets more and more questionable, and the chat function sucks like a Dyson. I forgive all of this, though, because Facebook is doing what a 12 year-old (and then 15 year-old) Amy didn’t think was possible: finding all those people we left.

We left Indiana when I was 12. My friends from there kept up letter writing for a surprisingly long time, and I ran up some seriously hellacious phone bills, but eventually people go about their lives and the letters slowly stop. It’s not that your friends don’t love you anymore; it’s just that you’re not there and there’s no promise of you being around ever again. If we kept up letter writing campaigns with everyone who ever moved away, we’d never get anything else done.

When we left Georgia, I was 15. Even more badass phone bills were run up (I think my record was 180 dollars) and countless numbers of letters were written. Many nights, I would be notified that mom and dad were going to bed while I was typing. “Time to shut it down,” they would say, and the loud, electric Smith-Corona would have to sleep for the night.

The internet didn’t exist yet. You kids have no idea how good you have it. You have instant communication with people in other countries. I just spent a lot of summers waiting for the mail to come. Sometimes, there would be huge manila envelopes filled with random things like balloons, action figures and homemade jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes just bills for mom and dad.

At 15, you type letters about what happened in school or what boy you have a crush on but will never, ever talk to. You don’t have the vocabulary to say what you mean. You can’t just write “oh my God, please help me” in red marker and mail it to someone. You don’t type letters about how lonely you are because it’s summer and you can’t even go to school to meet some people. You don’t type letters about how you feel like part of you lies strewn along the highway on Mont Eagle, glittering there like a shattered champagne glass. You think it in disjointed pictures, but you don’t type it.

When you are angry with your parents, your friends are all you have. Oh, God, was I angry with my parents.

That feeling of losing an entire group of the best friends I’d ever had never really went away. I didn’t think about it much, but every time I did, I pictured that glittering glass strewn along the highway. It was a wound that would never be healed. When you hit one of those, all you can do is try to learn something from it and use it to your advantage. It’s not going to go away. It becomes part of who you are, so you may as well have some sense and let it make you a better person somehow.

Now, in 2010, we have Facebook. The people I left are slowly finding me. It’s never going to be anything even close to the way it was, but it’s nice that they didn’t forget. Each time one finds me, one little piece of Mont Eagle highway glass gets picked up. A little piece of that wound gets fixed.

I have since driven that stretch of highway, addressing it like some old nemesis, looking for glass.

I never, ever forgot any of you.
I still have those letters.

Weekend: Wind Chimes Anonymous

Mark and I had to do a seeyalater on hanging out because I was in full “holy crap, I have to pack” freakout mode. Thus, I did some post-work packing and then headed over to the new house to clean. Much to my chagrin, I arrived to find that neither the power nor the water were on, and they should have been. A couple of lucky, post-5:00 phone calls were made and their dudes came out and got both things working. Whew. After that, I stopped by the grocery to get bribes/Mountain Dew for the next day, and hit the ATM for tip money for the movers. I got in bed by 10:00 with the intention of getting up at 6:00 (2 hours before the arrival of the movers) to finish taping boxes and get Murphy situated and locked down.

Despite the best laid plans, I slept through my alarm. I was awakened at 8:30 by the sound of knocking on my door. The movers were greeted by a crazy-haired, bespectacled (evil), hurriedly saying something about sleeping through an alarm. Both dudes looked at me lilke I was crazy, even though one of them actually spoke English. This gringa’s out her damn mind….

The move ended up costing me almost twice as much as expected, due to the movers’ careful habit of quilt padding every piece of furniture…and the fact that my clothing has sort of gotten out of control. I got 3 wardrobe boxes, and I still had two more normal boxes with clothes in them. WTF? You’d think I’d have something to wear. In my partial defense, a gal’s wardrobe must span many occasions, from goth night to job interview and everything in between. In cold AND hot weather. And I really don’t have that many shoes. Can you imagine how much it would cost for Prince to move? No wonder he still lives in Minneapolis.

Anyway, everything got moved in OK. Later that night, I dusted off the piano and quasi-rocked out, an event which resulted in the decision to paint the bedroom rather than hang floor-to-ceiling fabric. The room is wonderfully reverby now, and I’d like to keep it that way.

The word about my move in must have gotten out in the crackhead community, as 3 different people came to the door to offer to cut my grass, 2 of which I’m pretty sure were crackheads. Honestly, crackheads, it’s really rude when talking to someone to ask “so, are you single?” I can’t tell if you’re trying to pick me up or trying to find out if it would be easy for you to rape and kill me. So, yeah. Rude. “I’m not married, but the boyfriend practically lives here.” You know, Bobby Fictitious. Of the Long Island Fictitiouses?

I awoke at 5AM (because I don’t have blinds yet) and every joint in my body was angry with me. You don’t realize how delicate your fingers are until you carry several heavy milk crates with them and wake up with them nearly frozen into a lobster claw. Or, when a new Guitar Hero game comes out and you wake up feeling like you’ve been strangling people all night. I did more unpacking while waiting for Comcast (who stood me up until Monday) and then went up to Sir Pizza with Jen and Elias for a surprisingly tasty queen’s feast. Or, as I call it, “Drag Queen’s Feats.”

Comcast may have stood me up, but it served them right when they had to install my ghetto cable and much-needed internets while Alarm Guy was turning stuff on and being loud. Ha! You stand me up? Here’s a loud, piercing squealy noise. Having the alarm activated seems a little excessive (after the cell unit to call the cops, it’s 35 a month), but I get a bunch of money off of my home owners’ insurance for it. Besides…maybe it’ll dissuade the crackheads?