Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Just For Amanda

This one’s a special request, for a very special lady.

Amanda is my longest standing friend. We have been friends for almost twenty years, which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that we’re both 16. I think she’s what black people would call my “ride out chick”. I’m not entirely if that’s a real thing or not, but I heard it on 97.1 this morning.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of going over to Amanda’s house, and spying on her neighbors. We’d make up elaborate stories about how the father was having an affair with the nanny, and the mother was secretly an alcoholic prostitute. Then we’d keep notes on what rooms they were in at what times to help “prove” our theories. You know, typical eight-year-old stuff.

Around 11, we discovered boys together. And when I say “discovered boys” what I mean is all of our friends had crushes on guys in our grade, and Amanda and I tried to fit in by forming similar crushes, but with little success.

Eventually, we gave up and Amanda created an imaginary boyfriend named Fredboy, whom she could never see because he lived in an insane asylum, thus giving her lots of time to create elaborate sexual fantasies about Pat Reilly.

I flipped through thousands of Seventeen’s trying to find a guy I could ostensibly have a crush on, then caved and obsessed about a local kidnapper whose sketch was always in the paper. I cut that out and pasted it to the wall next to my bed, along with my pictures of Jeff Bridges. In retrospect, perhaps that would have been a good time to send us to psychologists... but I digress.

In high school, we drifted apart. I had sex first. I had a severe eating disorder first. I think there was some jealousy. We reconciled senior year over shared interested... skipping class and living off of TCBY.

Another thing about Amanda is she just drives men crazy! No seriously, her last live in boyfriend was semi normal, then after a few months of living with her he decided he was the second coming of Christ and had to move to Texas to help homeless people or something. Now, I’m not saying it had anything to do with Amanda... I’m just saying, it probably had something to do with Amanda.

The best thing about Amanda is you can always count on her for pearls of philosophical wisdom. Like the time she said “I know you guys are going to make fun of me, but I think I may have found true love with this crack dealer.”
Or when she said “It’s good to date someone who’s the same height as you, because then when you turn around, they can be that other person.”
Or when I introduced her to a friend of mine and she said “Hi! I’m Amanda. I’m thinking about bleaching my hair so my boyfriend can pretend he’s fucking someone else.”

My favorite Amanda memory is when she came to visit me in California with Mike. As she put it: “I was going through a lot of self discovery. Except, I wasn’t”. And truer words have never been spoken. She eating three meals a day, and had used her bangs to construct an impenetrable fort for her face. Mike and I watched in horror as she made us stop to buy pizza on our way to lunch.

Amanda’s really been turning her life around lately so she’s not so much fun to make fun of anymore, which sucks. But even if she’s not there to be crazy with anymore. I know she’ll always be there when I need her.

Just standing there, with her great, big, gigantic wrack, saying “Hey, it’s, like, going to be OK… or whatever.”