Whatever Happened to Roberta?

The other night, I had a dream about an old friend of mine, someone I haven’t seen in years, and haven’t even thought about in almost that same amount of time.

And yet there I was, dreaming about her.

We’ll call this friend Roberta, to protect her identity. Not that you’d know her, and I am sure she doesn’t know where I’m at, let alone reads my blog.

I met Roberta my freshman year of high school. Right away, you noticed how incredibly beautiful she was. This made me feel a little awkward around her. I was in that strange period of life where you are leaving your preteen years behind, and attempting to blossom into a full blown teenager, and I don’t think I was doing it very well. Roberta was. She had curly blond hair and a very demure smile. I think she knew she was attractive, but not in an overtly way. She wasn’t a showboat.

The other thing I noticed was how much she loved to dote on me. If I had a collar that was raised up too high, she’s fix it for me. She was forever telling me about the eye boogers I had encrusted into my eyelids, and even to this day when I check to make sure I don’t have something nasty in the corners of my eyeballs, I hear her voice. If I had strings hanging from my clothing, she’d pull them off or rip them away if she had to. Looking back, I am sure she had borderline OCD. Almost like a 60 year old woman trapped in a young girl’s body. But then, I felt cared about.

If we were walking together in the hallways leading to class, she’d tell me to “Catch up!” and I’d respond, “Mustard.” I know, totally silly, but it always made both of us smile.

She invited me to a concert that was being held in downtown Portland, OR. A swanky little event, where we’d sit in chairs and watch a group called Celestial Navigations.

This wasn’t your typical rock band, mosh pit type situation that was so prevalent in the early 90’s. Celestial Navigations was a group led by actor Geoffrey Lewis, and he’d tell a story while music was playing around him. It was a very unique experience for me, and I was touched that Roberta invited me to be part of it, with her. She also let me borrow one of her pretty blue dresses for the occasion, I think due to the fact that at 14, I didn’t own a dress of my own. I was a huge tomboy back then, and she helped me to get ready, applying makeup and fixing my hair.

Later that night, while getting ready for bed, we were brushing our teeth, and she was swearing up and down the benefits of using baking soda for your teeth, versus standard toothpaste. Remember the 60 year old comment I made earlier in this blog?

I went to see Jurassic Park with her, when it first hit theatres, and she was huddled close to me, holding onto one of my hands, digging into my flesh with her nails out of fear and anxiety from the movie.

This is where my memory starts to get fuzzy. I’m not sure what happened. I think when you are a teenager, you tend to go in opposite directions. She stayed on the straight and narrow path, while I proceeded to veer completely off of it, dabbling in pot, skipping classes, and parties with other degenerate kids. I’d see her in the halls, no other people surrounding her while she walked, head held high and looking straight ahead of her. She didn’t have a clique. I don’t think she ever needed one.

So, back to my dream… which I don’t even remember, but I remember that she was in it. And I wondered after all these years (almost 20 to be exact, OH MY GOD) what has happened to her. Where did she end up. And so I did what any self respecting woman would do in the 21st century.

I Googled her.

Roberta is phenomenal. Is this a surprise to anyone reading this? She’s a civil engineer. She does mountain bike races, and CrossFit, and triathlons. She’s married. No kids as of yet. She’s not on Facebook, but I’m not surprised. It’s not her scene.

I’d really like to contact her, just to say hello, but I’m not sure what to even say to her. It would come out all weird and awkward, and maybe even a little stalkerish, and I don’t want that. It’s interesting how even though our paths veered off in such different sectors of life, there are still a few things we have in common. It looks as though she and I both have a huge love for fitness, and it would be nice to talk with her about that, get her take on it.

I might have to just suck it up, and drop her a line.

And I swear, I just did an eye booger test, and heard her voice while I did it.


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