My friend has a birthday today.
I met her when we were teenagers. We fell in teenage love. It was heavy and full of drama and my tendencies toward martyrdom meshed nicely with her mental illness. We were a manga soap opera before any of us knew of such things; we were a Terry Moore graphic novel and she was Francine and Katchoo both depending on the day and where her brain chemistry was.
We had adventures.
As we grew older and miles separated us, I often worried about my friend. Her adventures away from me took place in Adulthood, where things are more dangerous and the implications, longer lasting. She did amazingly strong things that I’m still so proud of, and she made the kind of mistakes we all make. I celebrated her triumphs and fretted over her defeats.
She sent me letters boobytrapped with glitter and confetti.
Finally, entropy contributed to our losing touch with one another, and a misunderstanding reinforced that. It was years before the Internet brought us back in contact.
Lo and behold, my friend is alive and well. She’s a poet and an artist and so brilliantly creative I wish I could take a thimble of her productivity and down it like a shot. There’ve been a few more tragedies, and a few more triumphs, and this person I met when we were half as old as we are now has become one of the strongest people I know.
And today’s her birthday.
And I wanted to tell the world that, and also that she’s an inspiration, and a gift, and I love her.
So happy birthday, tigger-eddie-cydniey. It makes me happy, knowing you’re out there — and that’s your gift to me.
(crossposted at livejournal ‘cuz I want to make sure she reads it.)