partner and i used to write letters. as in, we passed notes throughout the classes we shared, rode the bus home to grab the letter waiting in the mailbox and ran to the phone to discuss both it and the day we had just lived through together.
we did this every day. and this was 9th grade. back before the double doozies and the pigs and the turmoil and the waterfalls and snickers bars. back before we were even partners. when we were just amy and caroline.
i don't have many friends. mostly i have people for whom, because of the world of business and shit we have weathered, only the word family will do. maybe this is a trait particular to the only child. ultimately, we will be left alone so we amass surrogate siblings everywhere we go.
whatever the cause, if you lived through something with me, you're pretty much stuck with me. forever. a boy to whom i once wrote letters once asked why. why i hold on to people. why i forgive them. why i don't just let them disappear. i didn't tell him then. hell, i don't know that i knew then to tell him, but i am pretty sure that i am this way because of partner.
because that year, 9th grade, the one that partner and i wrote all those letters? that was not the best year of our lives. i'd hazard a guess it was one of our worst. and i didn't know it then but i appreciate it more and more now- that, in life, you need people who will hang on. no matter how you screw up, the mean things you say, the ups and downs, the losses, college, venice, LIFE. they are there. always.
i know many brave women. i know no one braver than partner.
partner's been very sick. today she starts getting better.