Thursday, October 4

remembering things past

I feel like the older I get, the more I think about my past. My cousin Julie is in the Army reserves and is being sent to Afghanistan this fall; I believe that she started active duty on Monday and so we gave her one last hurrah at a party on Saturday. It was bittersweet-- too many people to get a real conversation in and yet I felt a real longing to connect with her before she goes.

Of all of my cousins, Julie is closest to me in age. She is a year and a half older, and when we were kids we played together like good friends. For some reason we would always hang out on the lavender carpeted steps at our grandmother's house, or else we'd mix cocktails of different sodas (Sprite and root beer?) from our grandmother's bar. At some point, sometime around 1985, our grandmother took us both on a cruise to Bermuda. Julie and I would wander around the ship on our own and apparently -at least according to her - I was a terrible troublemaker. I can't help wishing I remembered these things with more clarity. All I remember was that as a child I felt unbelievably alive when I was with Julie. We climbed trees, we explored the cruise ship. And yet this also seems so recent, so much a part of who I am now. Sometimes I feel like I could just reach back and be there.

But now Julie is a mother and a nurse and a soldier, and I'm a wife and a New Yorker and a set designer. But I feel like we still could connect the way we did when we were twelve, if only we had the time and the freedom and the space.

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