Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, I was sitting on the floor in a corner of the library at Cal State L.A., eating chili cheese fries with my boyfriend. We were talking about Halloween. He was going to be an old pimp and I was going to be a brunette. He was growing out his hair so he could shave a bald spot on the top of his head and glue the extra hair to his chest. I had bought a long brown wig and was excited about wearing it to school. I know this because I wrote about it. There were very few days that year I managed to write about in my journal. October 26th was one of them.
I was two months into my senior year of high school. I had gotten my first car that summer and would soon be ditching my pager to get a cell phone. I was a theatre major, but had little interest in the subject. I spent most of my time writing poetry, taking pictures, and drawing on my textbooks. I knew I would go to college, but I had no idea where, or what I would study. I had just started filling out applications; I had never even heard of Bard.
There were so many things to think about that year, and I was excited about everything. Winter Formal was still months away, but my boyfriend and I were already writing down songs we wanted the d.j. to play. I was counting down the days until New Year’s. We were going to kiss as people around us shouted out the last few seconds of 1999. He was my first love.
A few months later, he was also the first person to break my heart. I remember getting pulled over by a cop one day on my way home from school. I had been crying so hard I couldn’t breathe. That cop actually put his arm around me and sat with me on the side of the freeway until I stopped crying. I did not think I would survive that broken heart. What had once been a great friendship and love had turned into who could hurt who more. I learned how mean, how sad, and how crazy I could be.
Somehow, we managed to remain friends through it all. We supported each other through breakups and heart aches. He flew across the country to be best man at my wedding and gave me a shoulder to cry on when my marriage wasn’t working. We are so different now and we continue to change. With each passing year, we drift further and further apart. We are almost strangers.
But on October 26, 1999, the day I chose to remember, my heart had never been broken, and I loved without fear. On that day I wrote: We went to “our corner” of the library today. We were laughing so hard that we were rolling on the floor. Then we were kissing and when I opened my eyes, we were on the other side of the library! I have no idea how we got there. I thought we just kissed for a minute — but it was almost an hour! I’m so happy I can’t believe it.
p.s. I still feel like I’m floating.


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