Recently, I found the diary I had written during 1968 (you young'uns, hush up). I had not read it since and spent two nights laughing my butt off. It was an astonishing window into the deep past. I have remained close to my childhood friends; they all knew I had found the diary and for days there were phone calls as I would read aloud passages that involved them, old stories we squealed about 35 years later.
During one of those squealing phone calls, I read a story of what happened in a day back in March 1968 to a friend of mine and I in an encounter with an old lady on the street. The lady was disheveled and asked us to fix the garter on her stocking. In the diary I describe how using body language, mostly steely eyed looks back and forth to my friend, I say 'No way' until the old lady begs and my friend collapses and fixes the garter. My diary entry is laughing like heck that my friend gave in. When I read it to my friend we both acknowledged that neither of us had any recollection of it having happened, laughed and blew it off. We were street urchins in NYC, we moved on.
But the next day I get an email from my friend with vivid details about literally where we were standing when it occurred and what we were wearing and the time of day and where we had been before that: a floodgate of information came overnight. And my friend also then told me about how the event had grossed her out and how hard it had been for her to be charitable at that moment. And how until I read the passage aloud, my old friend had no other recollection of this otherwise small event. And she thanked me very much for grossing her out again.
In the days that followed, I felt like a worm.
Express to the Present
This same friend, 35 years later, is now trying to rabble rouse the local community to vote against a school referendum. Asking me all sorts of HTML questions, and fueled by the guilt I had been feeling over that darn diary entry, I finally said, 'I'll do it! I'll do it! I can't teach you this stuff, just get me the content and I'll do it!'
Well my friend found freedom to add, and add, and think and add and add. Statistics, pie charts, you name it. My friend felt free to go and concentrate on content and that cost me about 36 hours. It could have driven me nuts except for the diary entry remembering that I was truly just a worm.
Now it is done. And as much as a pain in the butt it has been over the past two weeks, zee debt is paid. A garter for a website. Can you believe that? We laughed about that stinkin' garter again this evening as we put the website to bed. It's so nice to have friends.