Today is the birthday of Allison, one of my favorite friends!
I met you in the hardest way: I dated your ex. Much hilarity ensued. And at the end of it, there was you.
You introduced me to the music of Ani Difranco and Rose Polenzani. And the poetry of Monica Berlin. And Boone's Farm Wine, which we drank, rolling around on the floor.
And the art of saying no. We once got very drunk in a field at Ann Shaver's retirement party. It was a costume party. I was wearing long black satin gloves. Marlene was pouring us red wine from a jug and it got dark and we were still standing there. Somehow, rain had fallen or dew (was it that late?) and we had to push the cars out of the mud.
My gloves had to be thrown away; it was that muddy.
Some of my best memories are of driving in your car. We drove to get coffee and doughnuts late, but really we drove just to drive in the darkness. Ohio fields outside, stars. And inside, that Smiths song. Driving in your car, I never never want to go home.
I envied your organization, and your poems, which are wild and full and will wait for you.
You dyed your hair electric blue. You entered a three-legged hamster in a race, and won. You commanded the respect and love of high school students.
You once sat in a car talking with me for hours, long after the ice cream parlor turned off its sign. Thank you. You are the biggest cheerleader my novel has, and if it finds its way to the world, it will be because of your eyes.
You discovered what you were meant to do late, and so you started over, went back, began again, studied, studied, studied in the hardest branch of medical school, and graduated, and did it. You found love. You went for it. You are brave, smart, beautiful, and daring. And you are going to be fine.
Way to go!