One of my best high school friends was in town this week for her stepdaughter's wedding.
A group of us have remained close for nearly 25 years, and it was a jolt when she moved away two years ago.
I was shy and bookish in high school with very few friends, and have stayed close with the few that I had, which included Joe, the one out gay kid at our wealthy, middle class suburban high school, and Kathy, another misfit.
Dom, Kathy and Joe became friends in 5th grade (the year she moved here from New York) where he would squire her out of class to do "safety patrol" and spend the rest of the day checking out the retired band instruments under the school stage.
I knew of Joe in Jr. High, and because he was my grandparent's neighbor.
We became close friends in a creative writing class when I was a sophomore- we both loved Diane Arbus, Edie Sedgewick and antiques. Joe, a really smooth talker, was always very good for my ego, telling me "you stop traffic, you are so beautiful!"
I met Dom in 10th grade, through her brother who was in my class (they were all older), who told her "you have to meet this Heidi girl".
We were the only two girls in an elective Western Civ class, for advanced students.
She was a gum smacking, mini skirted smoker, in a Sex Pistol's t-shirt, with a 4. GPA.
I was both scandalized and memorized!
Later when she won a full academic scholarship to a prestigious liberal art's college here in town, she was known to tell the preppy assholes, that harassed her (and everyone that was different) we went to school with "you can all kiss my ass".
We have had many adventures together over the years, and weathered many storms.
These people have been my greatest fans and my most staunch allies, and defenders, they have been there for me far more often than anyone in my family, even when Joe moved to San Francisco after college we remained in close contact.
He wrote me hilarious letters and post cards weekly and eventually moved home, into the bottom half of the duplex I lived in with my poodle, before I moved to the big apartment in Northwest, with Rolf.
The year I turned 30, Dom and I went to Italy together, we trade books, and share a extreme, sentimental attachment to old friends.
It was delightful to see everyone in one place for an evening, and one of Dom's four younger brothers even made a brief appearance on his way home from band practice.
I had waited a long time for this evening and it was special, it also made me a little lonely and sad for what lies ahead.
I wonder how on earth I have become so isolated?
oops, managed to cut St. Kathy the Good out of the photo.