Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Out of the Blue, I Heard From an Old Friend

Last Saturday I was making Hamburger Helper when the phone rang.

"Is this Donna Talarico?" Yes
"Did you ever live in Tulsa, Oklahoma?" Yes
"Did you know a M.M."? Yes

Holy shit. M. (I am using her intials to conceal her identity incase.) I hadn't seen here in 14 years. I've Googled her many times to see if I could find her and searched all the social networking sites for her, and even earlier on, just searched the online phone books. (That's how she found me, the online white pages.) I never had a any luck finding her. I never stopped thinking about her- we were best friends for a few years-- during those crucial years too, the ones where you get drunk for the first time and lose your virgnity and all that fun teenage stuff.

One of the last times I saw her before I moved away from Tulsa, to Muskogee and then back to PA was when she was going to do some bad things with some random strangers. I left. She left the job we had together and then I moved. And that was it. Before that, we were inseperable.

One of the first things she said to me was that she did not do drugs anymore. Turns out she's been off meth for a while now.... All this time I've been living my life, not exactly perfectly, but I find out after 14 years that my old best friend has been struggling with drug addiction, had an abusive relationship (he's in jail) and right now her children live with her mom. This is likely why I never found her online, because she was caught up in this other lifestyle where technology didn't fit in too well.

However, the call was a happy one. Things seem to be on the upswing for her. I swore to her that I'd be a phone call away if she needed someone to talk to, if she needed a friend. I told her that sometimes it just takes one positive person in your life to help you get through a hard time.

We talked about the old gang and our lives and it felt so great talking to her. I am so glad to hear from her after all these years; it was quite a surprise. She told me how smart I was back then, and how she should have listened to me. I know there was nothing I could have done, it's just the way life happened, but when I hung up the phone, I couldn't help but think how her life could have been different if I stuck around. Or-- how my life could have been different if I stuck around. It's funny when you think about what one small choice can do and how big an effect it can have on your entire life.

This call stuck with me for days. It was difficult to process some of the things she told me because I left when we were 16. But I didn't want to be mad or judge because she only came back into my life for a few minute long phone call. I hope she stays cleaned up and that if I ever get back to OK to see my family there that I can visit her. I am glad her story is leading toward a happy ending. ; )

I'd post the picture I found of Milissa and I, but I am far too embarrassed of my feathered hair. I'll have to dig deeper. The picture above is the whole Tulsa Word newspaper crew on a trip into Rogers, AK. She's the one with the cowboys jersey and I'm the chick with cartoon band-aids on my knees- it was a dumb fad.


Theresa said...

Wow! That's awesome! - but do I know her...the name does ring a vague bell.

There are those days when I wonder what ever happened with Leo (the steps and the storage closet which reminds me of Josh), Grechka, everyone from "our group" at Memorial (those days were great-remember "what his name" with the spraypaint grafitti). I have searched several time for Jon and have talked to him on occassion, but nothing since 99 or 2000. Once in McAlester, Lee called and I got an update on the Villegas's but that was it.

It's so weird how people change. Like Jayson for example, when we moved to OK he was one person, than when we moved back here he was a TOTALLY different person.

We did some really stupid things back then - but I would never take them back. They make us who we are today. Every once in awhile Michelle will say "remember when" and I have no recollection, except remember the salt and ice marks.

This makes me think of a new reality show that is coming out. With people who will be given the opportunity to change a decision from there past to see how their lives would be different. I think it is targeting moms who gave up careers for a family.

Just remember that we will always have our memories and PPA RULES!

Theresa said...

I forgot to say "thanks" for not putting up a pic with me in it. Did all kids back then look that goofy or was it just in OK.

Now I am not going to get any work done for the rest of the day. I am just going to searching for people and remember people/places from back then.

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