Tuesday, August 5, 2008
So my good friend Mecca has been back in town. It's been about a year since we last saw each other, and it seems that nuthin' ever changes, except that this time everything has changed. In her brief weeks visit, she has discovered in her old gang a wedding engagement, new jobs, new houses, new babies, new romances, new breakups, and celebrated 3 birthdays including mine. My Thirtieth.
I don't remember what page Mecca and I were on when we last talked, and it seems like no matter what happens, how many pages turn, we are still very familiar with the stories we have to tell each other when we get back together to trade them. This time I had plenty to talk about, as did she, as did mostly all of us. In a real way, her visit became a catalyst for us to reacquaint ourselves with each other as a whole, just like when she was living here; mecca was where we gathered. In her absence, 'the group' it seems is a group no more, and our lives have branched out in different directions, allowing us to develop into altogether different people. Mecca's return however, tugged at our instinct to once again, come together.
In the span of a week, I've spent more times with some old friends then I have in the past year. Time seems to be slipping by and as it does, the milestones as well. We've spent the last week at dinners, over drinks, or in front of the hibachi, reenacting these events for each other to bring us up to speed. The week went by so fast.
While at Chiko's Tavern last night, Mecca joined me fer a few drinks and a few (sometimes begrudgingly) songs. It occurred to me Just how different she had become, grown, matured, polished. Granted, there was the same giggling over bad jokes, drunken slurs, and obnoxious renditions of power ballads that we always had from before, but there was something more now. Something more tangible. I realized when we had a good heart-to-heart afterwards what it was. One of my best friends had for a week slid back into my life filling it with the same joy and excitement as she always did, and was about to slide out within the next 24 hours, but her mastery of and magical ability to bring people to together, make things fun, to conjure adventure, was now for both of us, a vacation. She would remove that persona, like a wizards cap, and go back to the life she has built for herself in Florida. No longer just the binder that holds the pages together, Mecca has become the story.
I'm about to have dinner with the old gang to say goodbye to our friend as she returns home. It took me all of 5 minutes and a few phone calls to confirm that practically EVERYONE was coming. All of us, it seems are at somewhat of a crossroads in our lives. We all have our own thing going on and soon, there will be another year before we all reconvene, and then another two, and then three... I think a part of me, is saying goodbye to the Old Mecca for good. She has done her best to keep us together, to help us stay positive, to be free, but a new part of her has grown up, found something of her own, and I'll be the first to say it makes her shine even brighter than she did before. In truth, at Thirty, all the exploring we've been doing in the absence of 'the group' has only made our stories richer, and fuller. Whether its a birthday, baby shower, or a wedding when we get together next to share our stories, they will again seem timeless.