Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Real Friendship

Steve was an entirely different kind of friend. Growing up together from around age 7 we really had a quiet bond between each other. Shortly after first meeting him I fell into a hopeless crush with him. I was a little girl growing up with nothing but boys and in that situation, you usually have to become one of the boys, or be alone. It was easy for me to be one of the boys. I was as rough and crude as they were, likely sometimes a bit more. But then there came Steve into our little clique. There was already Chris, a good guy but a bit more on the fake or egotistical side for our taste. Then there was Jay, the outcast one or village idiot in a way. Kevin came around later when I was 11 or so but at that time it was just Chris, Steve, Jay and I. Without having ever said so Steve and I both knew that when it came down to things, if stuff went wrong, if the friendships fell apart that we were the different ones and would stick together because of that if nothing else. Him with his native indian high cheekbones and dark skin was so cute to me when I was 8 years old. It was also an agreement that those nights that we hung out too long, and it got dark and scary outside, the other would have to walk whoever wasnt at home, half way home. I remember very clearly it was always Steve and I at the end of the night. In one place or the other but we were still there when others had long gone. That never changed.

One day when I was 9, so I guess he was 10 or even 11 by then I cant remember specifically. We decided we were going to find out what this kissing thing our older friends were all ranting about. So calmly on his grandma's couch we discussed it and decided we were going to go for it. The second we did his grandma and aunt both came into the living room of his house and we were busted. They just laughed it off at our excuse for attempting it but I doubt either of us ever forgot that moment for long. He was the first boy I ever kissed. I became somewhat infatuated with him for a time after that, but even after that minor fantasy subsided I knew he would be my friend forever.

Around age 15 or so when I got pregnant with Michael, he had finally found a girl he liked. I say finally because there were always girls after Steve. But he never gave any of them a chance, until Ann. I went my way, moved into Michaels fathers house, he went his. He moved in with Ann and her parents. I didnt see him for 2 years at all. I knew he was out there, heard about how him and Ann were very in love, thinking about getting married etc. But I never seen him. I did always stay in touch with his grandma and aunt who had a soft spot for me as Steves first little girlfriend, even though we never were. It was honestly a horrible time in my life, those 2 years. Alone, pregnant... then with a child, and being abused by the worst kind of abuser. A sober one. No friends, no Steve's or Jays or even a Chris to talk to about things. I did find a good friend in a family member of my sons fathers. But nothing of home, nothing of my old life came with me. After 2 years of pretty solid torture I moved back in with my parents for about 6 months. I was waiting for an apartment in a housing project to come through. One night I was out again, of course, hanging with the same old boys, Jay, Kevin... others, and we ran into Steve. I was actually driving and I gave him a ride home after everyone had went home... Again, it was him and I alone at the end of the night.

"Its been good seeing you again Joy" He told me as he sat there, not getting out, not really planning on it anytime soon.
"Its been good seeing you too Steve" And we talked, for hours, until the sun started coming up.
About nothing, about where life had taken us the past 2 years, about where we wanted to be.

6 comments:

JustJess said...

it's like something you would see in a movie...without having read anything else (other than the first post i commented to, about Steve's funeral)...I would say that this was/is one of the great loves..the ones that movies and books are written about...you know what i mean...that unyielding love that sometimes, at the end of the day, causes more pain than pleasure...and mainly due to circumstance...

im rambling...sorry...

i think i'll go read more....after all, you wrote it, and i'm here...right ;-)

Joy said...

I guess I never considered it that way. I considered myself lucky for having known him. You are positively right though. Ive been telling myself for years that if I had to wait until I was 80 to enjoy such a great love it would be worth it. And there I was, with it right before my eyes. Funny how the world kept slapping the two of us together, but it happened. I really believed there was a point to all of it. That I had run into him and became such fast friends again so shortly before he died.

Maybe thats what I am supposed to take to heart. That I had a great love. And even by my own words I knew that great love didnt have to be a lover. I suppose due to the kindness it took for you to stop and comment, and then read all of this insanity, I need to realize once again, how lucky I am. I do, but then to have it all jerked away from me seemed so unfair. Im sure there is a bigger point in all this, I think you are doing a fine job at pointing it out too.

JustJess said...

while most often, i do my best to find the light in the world (its all that gets me through this)...i can appreciate the darkness more than most....there is much to be said for you feeling it unfair that you would be graced with such a love and then have ripped away....

its not fair, after all....

and its ok to mourn that...its ok to be angry or sad or bitter, even...as long as we use those emotions for a higher good, ya know...

seeds. all these thoughts are seeds...

did you know about your gardening talents? LOL

;-)

Joy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joy said...

Haha

Yes a bit I did. I seem to have an odd knack for making things like delicate roses, not the big hearty kind, grow in the Red Clay mud of the Virginia Mountains. Not something you see growing around here much, Tea Roses. I planted the roses about 3 years ago and the very first spring it was 3 feet tall. The spring of 2003 it grew to be nearly 6 foot tall and tried to take over my front door. This past year though, it has been eaten up by beetle overpopulation. Perhaps another one of those ugly coincidences that this has probably been the crappiest year Ive had in a while and apparently it is for the gardening too lol.

Well, I dont get to garden as much as I want I guess, but the question is...
Just how did you know?

JustJess said...

LOL...too funny hunny...

you should have guessed by now, it's my "all knowing, Miss Cleo, super powers" at work!

nah, just teasing...I just had a hunch about your green thumb....i get those from time to time...its a gift...

i myself think that gardening is a fabulous metaphor for life. But then again, I am a little weird!