Reconnecting (Part 1)

Over the years, I have had friends come and go from my life. Sometimes these relationships have quietly fizzled out after running their course, and other times they have ended in explosions of intense emotions and hurt feelings.

Throughout high school, I had a different best friend pretty much every year. First there was Rikki, then Nikki, then Jessica. I shared many unforgettable experiences with each of these girls, but in the end we grew apart. It's only natural I suppose.

After high school, I moved to Philadelphia. I met my first real friend in the "City of Brotherly Love" when I started waitressing at the Irish Pub on 20th and Walnut Streets. I was the youngest waitress on staff and most of the girls were standoffish to me because of it, but not this girl. She was nice to me from day one. Our friendship started with taking cigarette breaks together at work and quickly turned into wild nights at bars we had snuck into with fake IDs, dancing until the wee hours of the night, and hanging out at my apartment, eating cheese, acting silly and generally having a good time.

When I was going through some rough times and needed a place to live, she was the one who took me in. We shared her big two-bedroom apartment in a crappy section of South Philly for a couple of years before I moved away. We were great roommates, at least at first.

This friend who had always liked to get fucked up, had taken fun and partying to a whole new level. She would bring strange men back to our home and not remember their names in the morning. She often left food cooking on the stove or in the oven all night after passing out drunk. We would wake up to an apartment full of smoke and a ruined pan. On more than one occasion, I had to bust down our bathroom door because she had passed out with her head over the toilet and the bathroom door locked. Finally it got to be too much, I started spending most of my time at the apartment on Mifflin Street that my bestfriend (at the time) was renting. Eventually, I left Philly and moved to Baltimore. The ex-roomie and I kept in touch.

One night when I was back in Philly visiting, another friend and I ended up having to take this girl to the hospital after she passed out on the dance floor at a bar. One minute she was dancing, the next she was unconscious. We didn't know what she had taken. We feared the worst and took her to the hospital. After that night, this friend held a grudge against me for years. She blamed me for her hospital debt. She felt betrayed. That was the end of our relationship. Or so it seemed.

Earlier this year, this friend got back in touch with me. She called me and told me that she had been to therapy and wasn't partying so much and was doing much better all around. She told me she missed me. I missed her too. We decided to give our friendship another shot.

If I told you it was the same as it was before, I would be lying. Our lives changed in the years we spent apart, and we are both apprehensive about baring our souls to one another to reveal the people we have become.

I'm hoping that are friendship will rebound, not to what it was but to something new and equally as wonderful. We seem to be getting there, one step at a time.

We started with a few long telephone conversations. Then, she came to visit me at my new(ish) house in Baltimore. And, now we have plans to spend Thanksgiving together IN PARIS!!!

I was pretty shocked when she called to ask if I wanted to take a trip together. In fact, I'm pretty sure she only asked me because I'm one of the few people she knows who would be able to afford a trip like this, but that's OK. The trip will give us a chance to reconnect and get to know one another all over again.


  1. How weird. I just got a random call from a former best friend that ended similarly (only no hospital trip) yesterday. She was drinking to the point of passing out with her young child there on a daily basis...I was apparently judging her for telling her it was not a good thing to do. She and I made plans to get together next week. It made me so happy to hear from her and hear that she is doing better. I am excited to see her. I am glad that you have reconnected with your friend as well...I hope all goes well and you get back to that comfortable place agian.

  2. I hope that the 2 of you are able to reconnect, and that you have fun in Paris...how fun! It's funny how people come and go from our lives. I wish you the best of luck in your "new" friendship.

  3. once again, i'm amazed by your ability to be compassionate and lovely. i'd have a hard time even thinking about having dinner with someone that went out like that, let alone travelling to another country.
    that being said, it's fantastic that she's gotten some help - it's something that not everyone is capable of seeking.
    congratulations on reconnection.

  4. im glad you two could reconnect and im sorry about all you went through. i've actually been in a similiar situation with a friend. she was doing drugs and never told us..we all asked her as we could tell she was different. she endedd up stealing money from us to pay for these drugs. we actually havent talked since then but id like to think once we've grown a little we could reconnect again. thanks for sharing the story!

  5. first of all, yeah.

    second of all, holy crap! Paris?

    I'm so jealous.

    I hope you guys relive the GOOD old days while you are there.

  6. Wow,Thanksgiving in Paris! Coolio.

    Life's interesting like that. I'm glad you got to reconnect with an old friend, hopefully you'll rediscover the things that first attracted you to her and like you said establish a new friendship.

    But yeah, when there's too much time and distance between people it's hard to let your guard down again, that's my problem which is why it's hard for me to keep friends. Often I feel like too much has happened to me without them and it would take too long to fill them in, so I become weird and awkward when we hang out and then our meetings become few and far between and the next thing you know a person I considered a best friend is merely an acquaintance...sad.

  7. I can't get past the part about Paris, that is SO SO cool. Hope you two reconnect and all but we cares if you don't--you'll be in Paris! LOL

  8. wow how awesome is that. good luck! it's not every day you get a chance to reconnect with an old friend.. let alone in paris!!

  9. Aww that's a great idea! Also, PARIS!!! So jealous. :-)

  10. It's really wonderful that you two can reconnect. I miss some of the people from previous times, but wouldn't know how to be in touch with them (and wouldn't have the guts to try).

    And I spent Thanksgiving in Paris in 2000. Lovely time to be there!

  11. Thats cool. With an easy presumption that you will have loads of fun out there, i can expect pics from the trip. Life is so strange and people in it are also so strange....how dots connect, re-connect, emerge, collide.....attract..repel...
    Years pass by, we grow into somethings, and rarely do we go back together...it felt nice to me and i am happy for you when i read that.

  12. Wow. I am so glad that 'she' is doing better, and I am thrilled that you've got that closer and opening all at the same time. I recently got that with some old friends and it felt wonderful. Friendships like that never quite go back the same so it seems for me, it is kind of like trying to move back home... it seems like a great idea and everything will be exactly the way it used to be, but it just isn't. Not worse or bad, just different and sometimes that in and of itself takes some getting used to. Can't wait to hear about the wonderful glorious fun Paris will be for you two.
    And, sorry if I was a standoffish bi--atch! I probally just needed a smoke and not to be working at the pub anymore. I still have the occasionaly pubmare.

  13. wow. that's an intense story. that's really amazing that you guys are willing to give it another go. and good for her for going to therapy and working on her life.

    and paris??? ahhhhh. jealous. paris is my dream. i hope it's an unforgettable experience.

  14. Wow, it really does seem like you and this girl go waaay back. I'm glad she's doing better (but I still can't believe she blames you for her hospital debt). Well, if you go to Paris, make sure to bring back lots of great pictures and memories!!

  15. Paris?! that is freakin awesome. i hope you two are able to reconnect and get your friendship back.

  16. Friendships get strange as we get older. I have a friend who I've kinda lost touch with, and there's always promises to reconnect and all this stuff, but it hasn't happened. We'll see.

    Good luck in Paris! What an amazing sounding trip!