Friday, December 3, 2010

The Restoration of All Things (Part 1)

I surely didn't see it coming. Any of it. In this whole story. How could I have? I was starry eyed and held in my hands a heart that believed (easily) the best of anyone I considered a friend. I knew, theoretically, that friends were capable of hurting each other. But I didn't really believe that. Way down in my knower, I knew that all broken friendships mended. That all hurts were healed.

"Hey, I really like those shoes", he grinned, pointing at my sandals (which I also happened to like, very much). That's how it all started. An 8am Geography class, and a compliment. I found him entertaining even though (OK, OK, probably largely due to the fact that) he was wearing old man thrift store pants and literally styled his hair with elmer's glue.

His name was Eddie Kindle. (No. It wasn't. But for the sake of this story, it was.) He was very secretly a bit of a player, but my happy-go-lucky self didn't notice that in the least. All I saw was a sweet and outrageously fun boy who would get online and wait for me to show up on AIM so we could hang out when I was too broke to own a cell phone.

Was he ever charming! Before I knew it, my little heart was doing a dance of joy whenever I returned to my room to find his screen name popped up on my computer monitor with a subtly flirtatious invitation to an adventure.

Coffee? A movie? Dinner? Oh no. He was way too creative and interesting for such cliche pastimes. Once, I went home to find his AIM box reading, "Want to go to the store? I'll bring the goggles!"

Yes. He was serious. When I climbed into his SUV, he had on a gas mask, and handed me a pair of snow boarding goggles. I put them on like it was normal, and we went to Ingles, where we proceeded to march right over to the lobster tank and sit down in front of it. There we sat, wearing strange things on our faces and watching the lobsters. Just when we thought we couldn't be more pleased with ourselves, a small child skipping past us pointed and shouted, "Look Mom! Super heroes!"

Thus was the nature of our antics. We formed a close bond pretending that the world was our playground. When it snowed, we convinced ourselves that the snowmen popping up all around campus were an army bent on destroying us. It was us against them. And we sought them out and battled each one to the death until the wee hours of the morning.

We went contra dancing ("hippie line dancing", as he called it) and ate at Waffle House afterwards, where we invented an interactive more-fun-than-chess chess spin off board game out of ketchup and other condiments.

When we realized that our dorms were on opposite ends of the campus, and we should probably choose a meeting place that was somewhere in the middle, did we choose the bell tower, like normal people? Noooooooo. Of course not. We chose a grave site that had a tombstone that read "Hattie". We did this specifically so that when people heard us say to each other, "See you at Hattie's!", they would think we were going to a living person's house. But they would be wrong.

When I came down with a nasty cold, he invited me over to sit on the floor with him in his room and watch a movie (the only way we would be watching a movie) on a tiny black and white thrift store television. He made us both some tea, and we sat in comfortable silence, stirring it with pens.

We searched together for a church we could call home. The rickety old Baptist one had it's charm, but a series of glances was all it took for us to communicate our boredom to each other. At the very first moment in which we thought it wouldn't be too conspicuous, we made a stealthy exit. One at a time, so as not to be obvious, we slipped out of our pew and out the back door. When I got outside, he literally somersaulted "stealthily" (read: clumsily) down the hill and scurried behind a bush. Oh, I knew this game. We mission-impossibled it all the way through the darkened parking lot and into the car.

In the Walmart parking-lot there was a yard sale. He purchased a wheelchair for $3, scooped me up in it, and then spent the duration of our grocery shopping wheeling me about the store. Strangers looked at me with a face that said, "Poor thing, she's so young!", and I mentioned to him that we might want to keep an eye out for lightning because as much fun as this game was, it was probably awful of us.

We had antics for the sake of antics. Like the time we broke into Dodson cafeteria just so we could pretend we were in jail.

He had chronic random nosebleeds. Whoever thought nosebleeds could be endearing? One would think not. But I was so proud of him the evening that we built a fire in his backyard, and with no tissues anywhere to be found, he tore up a box and used the cardboard to draw a bloody Christmas tree, a sunshine, and some presents with his nose.

If I thought I stood a chance, I was wrong. The night I finally fell for him was the night the Presbyterian church had a free midnight pancake dinner for college kids. I was eating my pancakes like a civilized lady, and out of nowhere, Eddie picked up a glob of syrup from this plate and smeared it on my arm. I blinked a few times and then threw my kool aid right in his face. Hilarious. I'm sure we were horrifically obnoxious, but you must know that this meant war. The syrup fight that ensued was nothing short of epic.

I might mention here, that I won.

On our way back, we jumped a fence and I cut my finger. It was bleeding, and he kissed it.
That was it. That right there. I was in love with my friend. Just, gone.


  1. I've been wondering whenabouts in time this was. Early 2000's? Middle 2000's?

  2. i remember that! was 2005. We were making a fire behind his house and the fire got out of control at one point and landed on me or't remember... anyways, he got a nose bleed then I pretended to chop him with a axe. HAHAHAHAH too funny...good times

  3. OOOOOH YEAH!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA I remember that!!!! What happened was this:

    He was holding a piece of cardboard over the fire. So naturally it CAUGHT on fire. So he panicked and threw it. And it landed on YOU! And everyone just sat there for a while. And then you leaped up and did a get-it-off-me dance.

    And when it was all over, you looked at him and said "You tried to kill me! Why didn't you do something?!"

    And he said, "I don't know... I was thinking 'I hope she does something about that soon' "

    hahahahahahahahahaha oh laura, i miss you.