I recently got back in touch with my very first best friend, Joan, after losing touch with her for some 20 years. It was with her that I had my first (and last) fistfight; digging in the dirt so deep, it seemed, that we would soon get to China or Hell, whichever came first; dreaming of what it would like to be in college and have boyfriends at the age of 5; pretending that the two vertical cement slabs attached to the stoop were horses. Joan always got to name hers first, which wasn’t fair (it was really just a matter of who shout out first – I guess I was too slow). I always got second dibs on the name, and she always got Sparkle – which, of course, is the elite of imaginary horse names. Right after Joan’s ninth birthday her family moved away, which was very sad. I had no idea where and didn’t think I’d ever see her again. As fate would have it, eight months later I stood in the schoolyard of my own brand new neighborhood, feeling very lost. All of a sudden Joan came running up to me shouting, jumped up into my arms and banged her head into my chin. The joy was immense – so was the pain! I still have a tiny remnant of the chip it left in my tooth. Now that we’re back in touch, the 20 year gap seems like 20 minutes. Connections like that are something special.
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