Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer of the Strippers....

Ok...I know there's a few people who are curious, from cryptic past I'll divulge it at last.

Summer 1998. Handsome and I have been dating a year, living in our first apartment and my weakness for lost causes shines thru.

We come home from a churchy function and a roving ska band is using our apartment to shower before they hit the road for Tennessee. There are towels, half naked men, drugs and tattoos everywhere.

But not Roxie. She was busy making out with a stranger in her bedroom.

It was the last straw....

Let me explain Roxie....

She was one of my best friends in high school. She was a year younger than I was but we met when I was a freshman and she was an 8th grader in our foreign language class. (Kanst du Deutsch sprechen?)

It was immediate connection for both of us. I was the good girl and she was the one who shook me up. Made me really challenge my bourgeoisie background.

Even though we grew up in the same small suburb outside of KC, we were inseparable and if you believe in reincarnation and that there are people you are always destined to meet, she's on my buddy list.

Even though we were as different as night and day. I used to call her my "Punk Rock Girl". In fact, we'd blare that song and sing/scream it in her car with all the windows down on warm, summer, teenage nights.

When I went away to college in KC, we lost touch for that year, only occasionally checking in. Some friendships don't need daily reminders...

Then, my sophomore year she started coming around a lot more. She moved out of her parents' house, was going to Longview Community College and every so often would show up on my doorstep at my college.

If ever there was someone who danced to the beat of their own drum it was her. Yet she was one of my greatest creative inspirations, even now, 10 yrs after our friendship ended.

She was the one who opened me up to "Trainspotting", Nutella, the English punk rock band Pulp, and creativity for the sake of art.

Ours was sometimes an unspoken friendship.

Like the night she wrecked her car and my roommate and I went and picked her up, not questioning why or how ...

Like the night she broke up with her boyfriend and I saw the bruises on her arms and I just held her when she cried...

Like the night she unexpectedly showed up like an angel after I was raped....when I took/smoked some drugs I shouldn't have and she rescued me and took me to my room and put me to bed, even though I begged her to let me die.

Things we never talked about afterwards because we didn't need to.

My junior year, she ended up in a bad spot. She moved in. She needed a place to stay and of course I'd say yes....

She needed a job.

So, she became a stripper.

I was surprised. I was the one with the athletic body and big boobs. She was the one who looked like a 6th grade school girl (her act I guess). I never thought she could/would do it, but she did.

Do you have any idea the look on the face of the checkout girl when we paid for our groceries in $1 and $5 bills?

Then it got out of hand. She spiraled down. She asked another girl, Trixie to move in with us without asking Handsome and I if it was ok. At our parties, she'd show anyone who wanted to see her clit ring. Weird people started hanging around Roxie and Trixie. In our apartment...our home...I got scared.

Trixie wasn't bad. She was a voluptuous blond from our hometown that was trying to earn money for college (cliche, I know, but in this case, it was true. She went back to school after that summer, easily able to pay tuition.) We developed a decent friendship.

Roxie got jealous and paranoid.

By the time we moved out, we weren't speaking. She left a huge stain of red and blue tempra paint on the carpet of her bedroom. (I still have the painting she painted and gave me for my high school graduation)

She moved out without a single word. Handsome and I did our best to get the paint out of the gray carpet, but it was a mess.

We haven't spoke since that time 10 yrs ago...

I think of her from time to time.

She's still a stripper. She moved back in with her parents.

I found her on MySpace last year and tried to contact her. Just to tell her I missed her and wanted to see her again, that all was forgiven. Water under the bridge and all of that. She just wrote back and said, "Sorry, I'm not her, hope you find your friend."

I know she's embarrassed that she hasn't moved on. That I married Handsome, have a child, a house, a real career. I know she always wanted those things but they just never seemed to land in her lap.

And that's how she liked fate. Nothing hard, nothing demanding. Just easy....

I still miss her. There's a little piece of me that isn't there any longer. Every time I hear someone speak German I think of her. Every time I see Nutella next to the Peanut Butter on the grocery store shelves. Every time I listen to Pulp.

I hate unfinished business...If not now, our next life...I hate that thought.

I miss my friend, but I rest easy for now.

Because I tried.

Because friendships are ultimately 2 way streets.

I did the best I could.

And I still love her.

For you, Roxie...tonight, 'cause I miss you...

Hey, wherever you are, Roxie, I hope we can mend it this time. I hope you "Choose Life" because you choose another strip tease and you know what this means...I hope you find the electrical tin opener someday...


Hey There! I'm Amanda! said...

My Roxie never became a stripper but she had a lot of sex with my brother, posed for a REALLY dirty magazine, did more drugs than I even know the names for, dropped out of school, went back to school, and eventually became a lawyer. She is one of the few people from that time in my life I still wonder about.

The Steve that everyone likes said...

Great story. I'm glad I found this blog.

kcmeesha said...

I actually regret that I never had wild days or wild friends, never tried drugs, etc. I missed out.

Anonymous said...

That made me sad.

My Roxie got angry that I went 1200 miles away to college and wrote me a scathing letter hitting all my soft spots.

But she called me about 10 years later to apologize and tell me she missed me. I was so different and she was still the same so the relationship couldn't be salvaged (which was what she wanted) but...

I'm not sure I'd have had that much courage to come clean like that, 10 years later. I'll always admire her for that.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm kinda blown away by this post. I really hope she contacts you someday.