I have spent most of my life blocking out the past. Mostly in order to avoid pain. But now at the ripe old age of almost forty-seven I find myself wanting to return to some of those old memories and savor that which was good.
My oldest friend is Cynthia. We lost touch and haven't seen each other in at least 23 years, (my fault), I don't even remember her married name. Nevertheless I have many memories that stand out like photographs in my mind.
Las Heras, Santa Cruz. I can see myself standing at the door bawling with my mouth wide open because my friend and her family had to go back to Comodoro Rivadavia. I was eight.
Camping at Ventisqueros, Perito Moreno, my ninth (?) birthday. She gave me a box of crayons. We walked through a field where there was a bull, we climbed a glacier and then had to scale a cliff. (Lest you wonder, we were accompanied by our parents). There were wild blueberries at our campsite. Definitely the best birthday ever!
Bahia Blanca, missionary conference. She used to pray that her breasts wouldn't grow... she hated her red curly hair and always covered it with a scarf (to this day I am very partial to little children with red curly hair). Once we went to the zoo and stood very close to the monkey cage, the monkeys reached out and pulled her scarf and then took my glasses and broke them in two.
San Antonio Oeste, Rio Negro. Cream filled pastries, we probably ate 6 a piece and later where horribly sick. I think that was the same night Cynthia's mom made soy bean stew. I have never been able to eat soy since.
I remember camp at General Roca. One year during winter camp we combined our blankets and had such a mountain of bedding on top of us that we couldn't move.
Over the next few years my friend developed quite a fashion sense and I was still sporting the vintage missionary barrell look. That is when I started to allow my insecurity come between us.
I visited her on my honeymoon, and a year or so later went to her wedding. I remember how she looked after she changed into her going-away-on-a-honeymoon outfit.
After all this time I can finally go back to those days and remember. Remember what was good.