All day long, the song from St. Elmo’s Fire was playing somewhere in my subconscious. The group of friends I had in high school was a close-knit group. Most of us had been friends since elementary school. You don’t find that much anymore. I scanned some old photos in last night and realized I wish I could say something witty to my friend. The last thing we said to each other was hilarious, but is that truly what I wanted to tell him? Hmm. My phone was auto-correcting my southern accent. I was trying to post a status by using voice recognition. I told it “Happy Friday!” and erm, it came out “Happy Ass Day!” for real. So my buddy posted “Happy Ass Day to you too Aimee.” I’m not sure why it cracked me up, but I was grinning from ear to ear, and every Friday, I thought about his post. I could see him saying it, trying to keep a straight face, then busting out laughing. We always said ridiculous stuff. We always did ridiculous stuff. We watched ridiculous cartoons. Damn I miss that.
The song from St. Elmo’s Fire says that growing up, you don’t see the writing on the wall. Moving straight ahead we knew it all. And again, I thought of us. We had the best times. We went to bonfires in the woods, drank wine coolers, listened to our friend’s band play, and talked until the late hours of the night. We called each other on the phone and made dates. We talked our parents into letting 14 teenagers, boys and girls, go to a cottage in Corolla, N.C. We hung out, dressed in togas, played games like Twister, and rode around in our friend’s van looking at wild horses. Maybe we even drank on the beach at night, just a little. Maybe, just maybe, someone had a cigar. Not telling after all this time, just saying maybe. The guys cooked us dinner one night and we all dressed up. They wore ties for us. We were seniors in high school and we had our lives ahead of us. Sure, there were secret crushes. Sure there were whispers in the night. But above everything else, we had a bond. A bond that to this day, I hope my daughters have with their friends.
Lastly, I’d like to say when I hear this song, I think of the horses coming up to the van. They don’t do that anymore, but back then it was magical. Just like friendship.
“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.” ~Henri Nouwen