Caitlin lived in a house located just 3 minutes away from school. She had a cool dog (Springer Spanial), a cool Mom (way laid back), a cute younger brother with a cool name (Shepherd, or "Shep") and a cooler than cool older sister named Celia (pronounced with a hard "C").
Caitlin's friends had an open invitation to "crash there" anytime, and though I was excited to do so I was happier still to be able to say that I would be "crashing at Caitlin's". There was never a shortage of fabulous ways to spend our time. Some days we made up a dance routine to different songs on the Janet Jackson "Rhythm Nation" album, others we created our own L'Oreal commercial ("Because I'm worth it"). Caitlin taught us how to make mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and brownies, making each the latest middle school culinary fad of the week. We drank pitchers and pitchers of the frozen lemonade she would make, and then would go home and make sure it was stocked in our own freezers.
Caitlin could fix an outfit just by touching it. She would roll, scrunch, or tuck something and voila you were cool. She was funny and fiery and always talked in her sleep. She scared the hell out of me a few times when she did that.
It wasn't as fun when Caitlin came to my house. Yeah, especially the time my parents, just having returned from the Fiji Islands, decided to dig a pit in the yard and cook food in the ground. They put on tribal music and my Dad danced on the table. Not cool in middle school. Not cool.
But time wasn't really on our side anyhow. She was sprinting towards experience and I was hanging onto innocence with all of my strength. We were always nice to each other though. Our paths crossed again later when we both had roles in the spring musical. I wonder what she is doing now. I wonder if she remembers the time she cried and cried on her first day at our school so many years ago. Does she still remember the lyrics to "What I am" by Eddie Brickell or the harmony to "Galileo" by the Indigo Girls and the other songs we used to sing?