Monday, July 13, 2015

Some people call it a one night stand, but we can call it paradise...

Dear AESers,

I love you. I miss you. I will always love and miss you.

When I am with you, I am my truest, most ridiculous, most joyful, most unfiltered self. And I am pretty candid and transparent to begin with.

With you, I feel safe. This wasn't always the case, as I was a scared, insecure, fucked up teenager. I loved you back then. I might have just been scared to talk to you. Like if you were a boy, for example.

You were gorgeous then, and you're even more gorgeous now. I'm just not nervous anymore. And boy, does that feel good.

And for one weekend, one delicious, delightful, intense weekend, there we all were, back together.

Some of you I have known since I was born. Some of you were my teachers. Some of you I hadn't seen for 30 years. Some of you left before I arrived, but you were legendary and I'd heard your name so many times that meeting you, I felt like I was meeting a celebrity. Some of you came after I'd left, and it felt great to have a new friend.

So 30 years later, or maybe for the first time, but from a long-ago place, we hugged, and no time had passed.

I may have burst into tears.
And then, in the next moment, laughed really hard.

Because you walked back into my life from the best, richest, most beautiful time of my life. The time that I go back to in my dreams. The days that, when I am in a dark place, I ache for. Those days are my happy place. Even if, let's be honest, back then I was filled with teen angst.

The truth is, you are my happy place.

I love my husband and my children more than my own life, and they are my people. But so are you. And in some ways, you know me better than Nick ever will. It's not good or bad; it just is.

You can explain going to school in Delhi and the vultures in the tree outside the front gate, or that one time in Goa, or camel trekking in Jaisalmer.

But you cannot explain the anticipation you felt sweating in a cab on the way to the Gunghroo. Or the nervousness backstage before your entrance in the school play. Or the smell of camels. Or the ache in the air before the monsoon hit, and the joy of diving into puddles on the soccer field between classes because they'd filled in the hour that you'd been sitting in Geometry.

These things are part of our souls.

We've grown, but we're still the same. Just better. So much better. Some of you loved my mom in high school, and you love her still. Seeing this makes me so happy. These reconnections nourish the deepest parts of our beings.
We're older and stronger and kinder and more beautiful. We've lived through joy and through trauma. We have survived war and cancer and terrible loss.

We are beautiful human beings, all of us.

Maybe you could pack more hugs and drinks and laughter and dancing and just general joy into a weekend, but I'm not sure how.

Saturday night we were dancing to Tarzan Boy and Rio and someone said, "If only the dance floor had squares that lit up." If only it were the Gunghroo in the Maurya Sheraton.

We danced and we danced and we got all hot and sweaty and Anne said she wished she could take off her clothes. And I agreed, because when I have been drinking and dancing it always seems like a good idea.

But we agreed we'd be kicked out of the hotel and then it would all come to an abrupt and shameful end. So we just kept dancing and sweating.
I mean, we didn't have to do all those moves to Kung Fu Fighting. Wendy and I didn't really have to try to organize a flying leap that may not actually have worked out all that well.

But I regret nothing.

We ended the dancing in a circle with All Night Long. I type this with a lump in my throat. I can feel us swaying to the music, and feel the knowledge that time is short.

And then we took the party upstairs to Sid's room. Somewhere around 3:00, people started to trickle away. Anne said, "I'm not ready for it to end."
None of us wanted it to end. Just like in high school, we prowled the hotel hallways, on the way to the next party.

If only we were still together now.

If only.

If only we were back in Delhi. If only it were the mid-80s, and we were all so young and gorgeous and, though we were dressed up and sipping gin and tonics in fancy hotels, so very innocent.
We thought we were so worldly and sophisticated. And we had no idea.

If only we had our whole lives ahead of us. My friend Kassie said, "If only I'd known then what I know now."

Yes. We seized the day, we really did. But I'd have seized it harder. I'd like to have known then that you all loved me, and didn't judge me. I'd like to have known that actually, my butt looked just fine in those jeans and I didn't really need all that blue eyeliner.

Anyway. I know it now.

When we're looking for my son's shoes and I ask if he knows where they are, he says, "They're somewhere." This is always true.

And when I look into my heart, my somewhere is you.

I love you and I miss you. Hugging hello fills me with such joy. Dancing and laughing and sneaking liquor in big hotels makes me feel like I am 17 again. In the most beautiful, joyful, giddy, wonderful way.
Saying goodbye to you breaks my heart. I love you. You dazzle me.

And you always will.




  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Shannon! So wonderful to see you. Big hugs!

  2. now you made me cry (not big d.....)

  3. Beautifully-written Lisa. What a fun time we had..
    -Kim U.

  4. Beautifully-written Lisa. What a fun time we had..
    -Kim U.

  5. You certainly look the way you feel. Wonder days!


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