Sunday, August 17, 2008
She was remembering the summer of '78. Carla, Sue, Crazy Amy, the bar at the Skipper's Galley -- sipping frozen margaritas through candy cane straws, flirting with the fishermen, gossiping, trading dirty jokes, dumping on men in general -- "the Girls". Inseparable. Buddies forever. All gone.
Carla in Montreal, never writes. Sue in Boston with that artist creep, pretending to be an intellectual. And Amy. Dear Crazy Amy. She still thought about Amy almost every day, still avoided 495 like the plague; and when she had to use it, when she absolutely had no choice, she'd still get that terrible knot in the pit of her stomach every time she passed that damned Ramada Inn, and the tears would well up, and her fingers would tighten round the steering wheel when she came to that curve, that awful curve.
Oh, Amy -- why? She was doing eighty miles an hour, they said. No skid marks: she never even hit the brakes.
But all this was long ago, way back then, when life was an endless promise and death was only a rumor. When your most serious problems were how you looked in your new bikini and whether or not you were going to that party at Brad's on Friday night. When under all those cruel, sophomoric jokes and that self-defensive cynicism, under all that clever iconoclastic babble, they still believed in possibilities.