Friday, July 01, 2005

Image hosted by

On the last day of second grade we had a make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae party. I, unsurprisingly, brought the sprinkles.
Halfway through second grade I transferred from a private school to a public one. One of the very first things that my new teacher did was point to a boy sitting separated from the rest of the class. "That's Billy, and he's a trouble maker." she told me, "You make sure to keep away from him." Billy of course became the first friend I made in public school--I had a habit of hanging out with the wrong sort of boy even then. He taught me how to swear and that I didn't need to sit with my hands folded anymore, stuck up for me when people picked on me, and got me out of whatever trouble he'd got me into.
Anyway, Billy was suspended for the last three days of school, and so he missed our ice cream party. And I remember being so sad for him, that he couldn't keep himself in line long enough to join in on the ice cream. That was the day I learned that ice cream tastes better if you're eating it with a friend.

We had a make-your-own-ice-cream-sundae party at my office today, to celebrate making it through the June and summer and the fourth of July. It felt a little like the last day of second grade, even though someone else brought the sprinkles. The last time I saw Billy was at Sarah's wedding last year, and before that it had been a good eight years. I used to wonder if he was sad to have missed the ice cream that day, if his missing it follows him the way it always has me. I never asked him about it, and I suppose the answer matters less than the question anyway.

No comments: