Monday, May 19, 2008

What Liberties Are Taken

This song has been on the radio a lot. Even though it is a new song, hearing Billy Bragg's voice catapults me backwards 20 years, to my first year in college and my roommate and best friend.

Despite growing up in a huge city, I felt pretty sheltered and naive when I got to college. My friend affected a world weary attitude that I bought hook, line and sinker. We became friends immediately, and our tastes, clothing style, manners merged. Maybe mine merged more into hers than vice versa. Ok, definitely. Looking back on it, our relationship turned me into a sidekick, but a willing one to her strong and compelling personality. I wanted to become someone new, so why not model myself on this young woman who both enjoyed my attention and showed herself interested in me? I still carry some of her in me today. (At the very least she taught me to shop in vintage and thrift stores. )

It seems weird that someone so important to me for several years should drop so completely out of my life. It isn't the first time, and it did not happen all at once. We both got serious boyfriends, Chris and I moved out of state, we had the predictable complaints about who had wronged whom. . . It doesn't really matter anymore. But I think of her when I hear that song, and wonder where she is and if she thinks of me.


  1. she couldn't possibly not.

  2. Thanks for this walk down memory lane. I also had a friend, in college, who introduced me to Billy Bragg and vintage clothes, and loved to toss around the word "alienated." Perhaps I adopted a bit more of her style than vice versa, as well. (I was from the suburbs; she from the Big City.) And we drifted apart, predictably, after a falling out I never quite understood. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Of course she does...we all think of those college friends that, for a time, were our everythings and for one reason or another we no longer speak to each other.
    I do find it interesting how all the bad energy melts away and we come to only remember the good times and have genuine interest in who they are today.