Monday, January 19, 2009


I remember her middle name (Renee).

Her birthday (May 3).

She could do cartwheels and round-offs (I could not.).

She was BOY CRAZY at four years old, maybe earlier.

I remember distinctly that she walked across the street to our house, and into our carport and introduced herself. This is how we met. I think a washing machine or some other large appliance was being delivered.

She was not the kind of kid to get grossed out by bugs or other dirty, grimy things.

She pulled my hair or hit when we got into arguments.

She did not like to help me clean up after we made messes at my house - cause of many fights.

She played a trick on me once with another girl from the neighborhood, and it nearly caused me to poke my eye out. Literally. Or at least, it nearly poked my eye into blindness. (She and the other girl lured me to a spiky plant, told me they had a secret to tell me, and shoved me into the bush.)

We were in the same kindergarten class.

When I moved away to Delaware at the end of first grade, she was very sad.

When I moved back to Baton Rouge at the end of fourth grade, she was very happy.

She watched General Hospital - I watched Guiding Light.

She took after her godmother (Nanny), and she also loved Nanny very much.

I understood that a Nanny was a very special aunt who paid attention to one niece more than her others. I wanted my own Nanny.

It took her a long time to stop peeing in bed.

She struggled with school, but not with athletics.

Once, we checked cookbooks out from the library, and we each cooked the exact same meal for our families. The dinners included non-alcoholic sangria and homemade fortune cookies.

I do not remember if ambulances showed up at her house because her parents fought, or because her mom's leg caused her problems. I think it was both.

Her mother made me feel welcome in their home. Always.

Every year they bought a Christmas tree, and one year they got it flocked. I was envious because we had a tiny synthetic tree.

Her mom was originally from Chicago. This seemed exciting to me.

Once, her mom took us to a water park called Thunderbird Beach, and we got a flat tire on the way. A man in a truck stopped to help us change the tire.

Once, I went to a dentist appointment with Danielle.

Her dad said my name funny. He had a semi-Cajun accent.

He named his plumbing company D & L Plumbing, after Danielle and her half sister.

I don't know if Danielle's half sister had a relationship with her biological dad, but she did have his last name.

Once, Danielle and I put on her mom's high heels and bras, and we stuffed the bras. Maybe we did that several times.

When we slept over at each other's houses, we took baths together.

Baths at her house were more fun because her tub had a jet in it.

She was more of a tomboy than I was, in spite of her boy craziness.

Her parents were not happy when a group of black kids began getting bussed to our little mostly-white school. A lot of parents were not happy.

When we were playing in the neighborhood, and her parents whistled - that loud, two-finger-against-your-teeth-sporting-event kind of whistle, it was time for her to get home. Immediately.

She loved Indian food. At least the only Indian food she'd had - my mom's cooking. More than anything, she loved roti's, whole wheat flat bread, hot and buttered.

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