June 07, 2002


Two friends from college are here visiting for my birthday. I've known them 20 years now--it seems like that can't possibly be so. I look at their faces, and yes they have lines I don't remember being there. Voices are more tired. But, not 20 years' worth. They are upstairs, still sleeping. Jenna's bouncing around getting ready for school--we're late as usual. And I'm thinking about roots.

Last night we sat on the floor eating sticks of pepperoni, hunks of italian bread (ripped, not sliced), and crumbled Fontinella cheese, all hand carried from Rochester and Utica with love, understanding--you can't get that here. (Did I mention the hard lemonade?). There were moments when it seemed otherworldly--the tastes so familiar and warm and my own. Intoxicating.

These friends aren't bloggers. They don't even know I blog. Between trips to the kitchen, I perch in my spot on the couch, flip my laptop open to see if George has blogged anything new, what Elaine is up to, what's new with RageBoy. I read posts as I talk, sneaking back into Blogaria just to make sure. Ah, new email. Good. Yes. Of course. Me too, sweet friend. I open and close my laptop, punctuating laughs about the past with the huge piece of me that lives here, my present and future.

These friends don't live on the net. They don't breathe the same words as I do. And still. They know me too--that other me, the one who used her bed as a desk, who always forgot to close her dorm window when the rain came, who couldn't go to the record store and come out without an armful, who spun and danced to imagined songs, who wrote at night and slept during the day, who laid down in the middle of East Ave one night, drunk as a skunk, daring the cars.

Curious. The things I tell you about that me, that me then, you buy, accept. Easy enough to imagine me doing them. ME is the person I bring here with me. But this me, who's here, now, these friends don't know. They would wonder, if they came here, "Why do you do it?"

And I would say, because I have to. You should do it too.
And they would say no, I would never do that.
And I would say, it's so wonderful.
And they would say, see you're still crazy.
And I would say no, it's okay here.
And they would say, but why did you write *that*? It's so personal.
And I would say, because I wanted to.
And they would say, Oh. Well, you're *still* still crazy.
And I would say, not here I'm not.

And they would love me still, shaking their heads, wondering if I'll ever change.

And here I don't have to.