categories: Cocktail Hour / Getting Outside
[This piece arrived from the following prompt: “Write about a person, an object, or a place over a period of years, landing briefly to examine it, then fast-forwarding a few years to see it afresh.” W. Wrighter chose to look at her changing “best friends” over the course of her life. It’s the story of a downward spiral that ends on a hopeful note, despite the final landing spot–MW.]
Best Friends, by W. Wrighter
She was younger by four years, my only playmate, the one who was spared from beatings by my back, shared secrets and whispers, the one I would die to protect, at age seven
She was like me in many ways, laughed at my jokes, eased my pains, dried my tears, held my hand, we were to spend forever as pals, but ultimately she couldn’t save my soul, at age fourteen
Hopelessly in love with him, talked without words, had big plans, loved adventure, shared my passion for antiquing, laughter was everything, would grow old together, at age twenty-one
He passed away and left me alone, discovered a new friend, she laughed at my jokes, loved adventure, grounded me in my world, taught me how to treasure every day, at age thirty-five
He pushed me to my limits, made me feel alive again, allowed me to love too much, showed me a dark place, sent me so high that I forgot who I was, blackened my soul, at age forty-five
…my biggest mistake.
They helped me to move on, laughed at my jokes, shared my dreams, saw all the possibilities, changed my values, made me accept who I now am, have incredible insight, at age forty-nine
…all those around me.
[Today’s post is the second from a group of women inmates whom I work with in a program called “Meet the Authors.” (They don’t have internet access, but your comments will get back to them, through me, after being vetted through the chain of command.) The program runs in 12-week rounds, two hours per week, with a different group of students for each round, always with a few repeaters. We read the work of Maine women writers, who come to discuss their work and offer a writing exercise in their respective genres. The women then write short pieces, using prompts from me or the guest writers, and revise them according to feedback from the group.