Crossing The Burning Bridge

Through a recent set of strange circumstances, my old friend’s attorney stepmother was appointed as a legal guardian to my estranged uncle.

Crystal clear, right?

I had to call the guardian to discuss an upcoming court date, and through the conversation we circled back to realize we knew each other from two decades ago.

My old friend, the stepdaughter, was truly one of my dearest throughout high school, college and the early years beyond. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding; that’s how close we were.

And then we drifted.

Why? I don’t even remember.

To my recollection, there wasn’t a specific incident or moment when we split apart, but in the spirit of true Midwestern guilt, I’m sure I inadvertently did something awful. Really, if there’s a way to stick your foot in your mouth, I will defy physics to make it happen. Regrettably I am like that.

Being a good friend is something I really value, and the friendships that have fallen by the wayside always eat me up inside.

The stepmother was kind enough to share contact details and before I could re-think my decision, I reached out to my friend via email. We’ll see if she reaches back.

The whole incident reminds me of a song I don’t hear that often, but when I do, I remember how much I love it: “Anchorage” by Michelle Shocked.

Here’s the opening:

I took time out to write to my old friend
I walked across that burning bridge
Mailed my letter off to Dallas
But her reply came from Anchorage, Alaska

 The best part comes later in the song when the friend tells Michelle to keep on rocking, girl.

That line gets me every time: keep on rocking, girl.

I really hope she writes me back.

P.S. I still like the song but have totally turned against Michelle Shocked herself, who apparently now is a born-again Christian homophobe. Well, I guess I’ve changed a lot since the 90s, too, but geez! Not like that. 


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