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2006-10-08 - 5:52 p.m.

At a coffeeshop and ran into a friend from high school. She was the editor of the yearbook and I, though I did it to meet girls (mildly successful) somehow managed to become the assistant editor. She and another girl, by way of coffee and long nights, put the yearbook together without my help (I wrote some articles and flirted with girls (mildly successful)) and I'd always felt twenty-four percent guilty about not helping out so much. She was the only Jewish girl in my school. I went to her bat mitzvah. I think, in the eighth grade, she had a crush on me. Or maybe seventh. In high school, she was part of the high-achieving crew and I was only marginally part of that crowd. She took advanced calculus and I took the regular kind, etc. What it boiled down to was that she was smart and I was kind of smart but also liked to get high and listen to my friends play Grateful Dead covers.

Anyway, I saw her walk by and went over and said, as her boyfriend was talking to her, "Sorry to interrupt but you're Michelle, right?" And she recognized me right away and we had a ten-minute talk. Our moms work together and she had seen my mom recently, at her mom's retirement party. She's a professor of criminology, I think. She asked if I kept in touch with anyone from high school and I said not really with that one exception and she said "Everyone's having babies, it seems." And I thought, well, yeah, because we're almost thirty. After we'd talked about people we'd run into and people we didn't like, I gave her my phone number and she did the same (on a light green three-by-five index card) and when I saw the handwriting, it went WHAM and there was high school and before that middle school and Bel Air Elementary and twelve years of going to school with this girl and Mrs. Hosken's fourth-grade class and Mrs. St. Amand in fifth grade and nasty Ms. Hill's sixth-grade English and soccer referee Mr. Taylor's seventh-grade science and all the rest. And we'd passed notes to each other and she's passed notes to my friends and my friends had passed notes to hers and the world, just when she gave me her phone number on the green index card, got very small and all of a sudden I missed my parents and my brothers and I even missed Bus 77, which smelled like wood smoke and homework.

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