Dish 240: The One That Got Away
When Dani and I got in last night, there were three strips of button candy and a post it note sitting on my laptop: “Dish #240- a sweet something from the far-off past”, in the distinctive writer’s scrawl of my brother, Brian. [Yes, actually HE is the writer of the family. I am the math geek.]
I start pulling off sugary bits to munch while checking my email, and in the inbox was a letter from a very close friend from early in my college career. We lived on opposite ends of the hall and met because we had the same bathroom schedule- at 7am, or 3 in the afternoon, or 4 in the morning after a long night of studying, Mulberry was in there, too, brushing her teeth or putting gel in her hair. Sophomore year, after several surreal nights lying on our backs on Mendel field, watching the stars and thinking big thoughts, we made friends in our new respective dorms; each building was a good fit for each of us, and the friends we made have been enriching and loyal parts of our lives. Sometimes to make enough room for something as wonderful, as a reliable, funny group of friends, you have to give up some things you would rather keep; and sometimes you do not even realize you are doing it.
And that’s how we grew apart. We are in different schools, she in liberal arts, and me in business; and she lived on campus while I moved into an apartment. Our paths never crossed to put us back together.
I took another sugary bit. Mom used to buy button candy for me and Brian when we were little, and every once in a while as we got older. At some point it stopped. Button candy became hard to find.
Whenever I go into a candy shop, I squeal over the buttons. I like the pink buttons the best because the color is so pretty, even though yellow is sweeter, and blue is simply too bitter. Mom laughs when I bring button candy home—“ You still like that stuff?”
I wonder if Mulberry is free this weekend. Maybe we can find some button candy to nibble while we think our big thoughts.