I just love alliteration, don’t you?
Still taking requests, and today we have one from Kelsay: “Friends…inside jokes with them. Great memories that make u grin instantly.”
First of all Kelsay, I applaud your use of the letter “u.” (I have to pick on you now, because if I did it when I see you I’d have a red cheek from the immense smack you’d give me.)
A lot of things in my life lately have led me to think about past friendships. I’ve been listening to a lot of indie folk, which is never conducive to a productive mood; the music of Mumford & Sons only robs me of ambition and makes me pensive.
That song could be about a million things: a romantic relationship at its end, or a friendship breaking apart.
I’ve lost touch with many friends I once considered “great.” Through my dedication to school and work, I lost touch with a lot of people with whom I really enjoyed spending time.
Here’s a really great memory I have from elementary school.
When I first moved to Florida, I was extremely lonely and awkward. Apparently Tracy could sense that, because she sat next to me on the bus one day. We were fast friends.
Tracy and I spent the night at each other’s house for days at a time. She, being a year older than I, moved on to middle school ahead of me. This still didn’t stop us from being close.
We could talk about anything: problems with our families, boys, where we wanted to go in life. I wanted to be a lawyer or a NASCAR driver (weird, I know, but that’s pretty much how my life has always been), and Tracy saw herself moving on to work with children. She talked about teaching.
On these sleepovers, there usually wasn’t much sleeping. Usually we would stay up late and dare each other to do ridiculous, bizarre things.
This is how the narcoleptic ballerina was born.
I recently had learned about narcolepsy somehow (it was too early for it to have been from Third Eye Blind), and Tracy and I were watching a lot of MADtv. Our dares increasingly involved characters we would suggest were we given the opportunity to audition for the show.
My dare initially came from Tracy as such: “Dance like a ballerina.”
I complied. I fell. However, as I fell, I knew exactly what had to be done. I took my flop as gracefully as I could. That flailing looked effortless, my 11-year-old brain reasoned. Just work this a bit. Go limp. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
So there I was: laying lifeless on the ground while my best friend was laughing herself to tears.
Until she realized I wasn’t moving.
Tracy: Kristina? Are you okay?
Tracy: Kristina?! Oh no … oh no. Kris? Are you okay? Oh no.
I let the suspense build until I was sure my audience was captivated, then I sprung up and announced my life.
Me: Oh, I must have lost consciousness briefly. Almost as though … I fell asleep … while I was dancing. (snicker)
Tracy: How could that happen?
Me: Perhaps I have … (snicker) narcolepsy?
I laughed for a solid five minutes. I don’t think I had yet laughed that hard in my short life. After the laughter, I explained narcolepsy. Tracy and I agreed it was hilarious.
We perfected our act, then sat in the front yard and waited for my mom to get home. As soon as she got out of her car (the aforementioned Lincoln), Tracy yelled, “Now!” My mom ducked — probably expecting some ambush — and Tracy and I began whirling through the front yard. At my yell of “NARCOLEPTIC BALLERINA” we both fell to the ground in tears, laughing uncontrollably.
As we stood, rubbing bruised elbows and wiping grass clippings from out jorts (of course we were wearing jorts; it was 1996), my mom said, “Good job,” shook her head accordingly (because parents just don’t understand), and walked into the house.
Tracy and I thought our act was just too good to be contained in the house. We performed in the front yard for another 20 minutes.
We couldn’t sleep at all that night. We kept thinking of ways we could improve on the narcoleptic ballerina character.
The next morning (or afternoon, whatever, geez), we were still all a-flutter over our comedic genius. Then it struck me: roller skates.
In the front yard, with the cushion-y softness of the sandy Florida ground, I put on my roller skates (white hi-tops with purple laces) and began to do some sort of ballet routine that, to a casual observer, probably looked more like an interpretive dance routine choreographed while on very powerful hallucinogenics.
I roller’ed as best I could on the grass, and when the time came for me to fall, I fell with grace the likes of which you’ve never even imagined.
People were watching us! They were laughing! We were funny!
Only now do I realize that people were laughing because two pre-teen girls were whirling and flopping in public with absolutely no shame. They were laughing at us, but at that moment we thought we had an audience in love with our particular brand of physical humor, and that was just wonderful.
Ahhh, the good old days.