by Samuel Cole
According to her voice
message, we havent talked or lunched for
over four years and thats just not fine cuz
I miss you, girl. I didnt recognize her
voice, but I wasnt surprised by the message.
Im not good at sustaining friendships.
Im loyal to my cashmere sweaters and a
couple pairs of shoes; the kind of girl who
appreciates the efficiency of revolving doors.
She phoned again on a
Wednesday. It could have been an important call.
This is Holly, I said, using my usual
Before you hang up,
she said. I just want to say something.
I tried to remember the
exact reason we stopped being friends. She
probably said something cruel or lied about some
guy. Its so good to hear your voice,
I said. Whats up? I am amazing
at carrying on especially euphemistic
conversations: Im fine. Youre fine.
Everythings perfectly fine. Hell,
yeah, we should stay connected this time, I
said. Absolutely, I want to keep in touch.
Lets talk soon. Oh, it really has been fun
Who in the hell are you?
A couple of weeks flew by
before a sturdy cream-colored envelope showed up
in the mailbox, my address handwritten in
Christmas green. I set it in the laundry room, as
I wasnt feeling a bit jolly. Minnesota
electric bills have a way of zapping out all the
holiday cheer from any room.
A couple days later, tired
of passing it up, I sliced open the envelope and
instinctively knew we could never be friends.
Standing in matching green Jerseys, holding hands
in front of an electric scoreboard, smiling with
their heads together, they looked like an ugly
1980s haircut and a silly goateed fish. I
felt sick to my stomach as I was drawn to their
big, dopy, droopy red ears. I laughed out loud.
What a crazy looking pair of mother
somethings. I threw the card into the
trashcan and dusted off my hands. Besides, what
type of idiot sends out a Christmas card two days
after Thanksgiving? Way to jump the gun, whatever
your name is. Jeez.
The following Saturday,
unable to get their faces out of head, I trawled
them out of the trash can:
Holly and Brad,
Happy ho-ho-holidays to you!
a) Sad to hear of the
diagnosis and everything you guys went through
b) Surprised that we went
through a very similar life-changing
c) Glad things are much
better for all of us!!
d) Glad that we are
Well have to make up
for lost time in the coming year!
Shandra and Dale
a) I dont talk to
anyone about my personal life.
b) I loathe emoticons.
c) Ive been divorced
for two years now, which, if we were half the
friends she claims, she would have at least had
the decency to ask about Brook.
d) Whoever you are,
Holly and Brad