Tonight I learned of an old friend’s passing. I hadn’t seen Kathy in about 30 years since we graduated from high school but had reconnected recently via Facebook. We didn’t interact other than a couple of Likes and Pokes on FB and peeks into each others’ online life, but as I sit here tonight toasting to her I think back to another time.
My first middle school slumber party was in the basement of her house where a gaggle of teenage girls convened and screeched as we watched Psycho (I believe I showered with the bathroom door open for several weeks following). A few boys from our school stopped by and tapped on the basement windows so we all snuck out and wandered the streets of Hammond in the wee hours, sipping on a warm communal beer that one of the boys took from his house. At one point we stopped by Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant on Indianapolis Boulevard where Kathy and I stole several rolls of toilet paper that the group later used to “TP” and “For Sale sign” friends’ houses. We were such rebels!
Another memory was getting on someone’s moped (maybe Jeff Dixon’s?) and riding on the back of it with her at full speed in a park (Baring Parkway?). We hit two hills in a row, went airborne, and landed sideways. Though the moped had seen better days, we were both lucky to come out of it without any broken bones or worse. We had huge cuts, bruises and knots all over from the crash, but the thing I remember most was how after we made sure we were both okay, Kathy turned to me and just laughed and laughed. We were covered in mud and blood and completely thrilled with ourselves.
Many years have passed and memories of that time are a bit foggy, but my heart is heavy tonight as I say goodbye to someone who knew at such a young age how to truly live in the moment. RIP, old friend.