It seems like a lifetime ago. A horrendously awkward lifetime ago. The first day of freshman year. The day I met Joel. We both wore plastic-framed glasses and were approximately the same weight. Perhaps because of these similarities, we became friends. And have been ever since. My first trip to NYC as a independent adult was with Joel. My maiden voyage to Central Park, we made together. I remember exactly the section of grass where we sat, admiring the fantastic May weather and the boats on the pond in our periphery.
I thought of those memories while formulating this post, going so far as to dig up some old pictures of the trip. I found a gem of a picture, a “doozy” if you will, taken on a rock formation in Central Park. A simultaneous embarrassment and relief: thank GOD we don’t look like that any more. My hair is pulled back into a frizzy pony tail, unflattering plastic spectacle frames create rectangles across my eyes. I am outfitted in a Planned Parenthood t-shirt, at least a size too small, highlighting the Freshman 15 located at my belly. Joel is on my left, looking about five years younger than I, a believable fourteen. A “Jew-fro” with no hereditary basis crowns his head, a goofy smile across his face. We are eighteen/nineteen at it’s worst, “the prime of life” eluding our uncomfortable appearance.
I was tempted to post the picture. There is no way you would ever look at that photo and recognize me as I am today. But,