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day 43: who didn't love michael hutchence?

March 16, 2011

Do you remember who you were at seventeen, at twenty-one, at thirty?  Do you remember, not just what you wore or what you weighed, but what propelled you out of bed each morning and kept you moving?  Do you remember what you believed?

I don’t (well, not all of it, anyway).

I do, however, possess journals brimming with self-conscious musings and cringe-inducing poetry to jog my memory — if I ever wanted to.

I also have a Capezio shoe box, bound by two rubber bands, that I retrieved from my room at my parents’ house a few years ago.  In it are stacks of cards and letters I saved from high school.  There is a lot of embarrassing history in that box, which might explain why I found it shoved in the very back corner of my closet shelf.

Rifling through the box on Day 43, one packet of papers caught my attention.  It was ten stapled sheets of notebook paper decorated by scratch n’ sniff stickers (do they still make those?) and magazine cut outs.

It was a twenty year-old quiz I had written for my old friend Roberto (remember how he kept it real on Day 6?), and it was hilarious.  Incorporating such penetrating ethical questions as, “Your father and your six year-old cousin Billy are drowning.  You can only save one of them and the other will die.  Whom do you save?” and “You can raise your IQ by sixty points but you must have an ugly scar on your face stretching from temple to chin.  Do you do it?  Explain.”, the quiz showcases a teenaged Roberto’s opinions on politics, religion, and relationships.  Some of his responses from two decades ago are unsurprising (number one favorite album: INXS’ “Kick”), while others took me aback.

In the two decades since Roberto completed my ridiculous quiz, we’ve each lived lifetimes.  Through miles and years, he remains one of my truest friends.

On Day 43, Roberto was vacationing in California with his elegant wife and their two children.  I stuffed this ancient piece of our shared history in an envelope, smiling at the thought of him reading it, and was reminded of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quotation, “The years teach much which the days never know.”

I’m not sure our days could have predicted it, but I think our teenaged selves would be thrilled that we are still friends.

Oh, and on Day 43, I couldn’t get this song out of my head.  Thanks, Rob.

Today, I hope you listen to ’80’s music and contact an old friend.  Thank you all for showing up.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Roberto permalink
    March 16, 2011 10:22 pm

    what’s up with mullet guitar guy in the video?

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