To My Friend

To my friend, Dina Salvatore:

Dina and Nina 2004

You were pretty and funny. The picture on my night table of Studly and I, our first christmas together, was taken by you. We worked the graveyard shift in a call center together. You were crazy, and we went to Starbucks on our breaks sometimes. We joked that our names sounded like a comedy duo, Dina and Nina. When you were dating or whatever that was with a friend of ours, I didn’t talk about it with anyone else, because it wasn’t my place, even when it made some people mad. We looked great at the christmas party. We gossiped about work people, and stupid things we heard on the phone. I hate that time we went and played golf with a friend of ours, it was hot, I sucked at it, and felt like a third wheel. You always talked about your crappy dates, and the hot italian man of your dreams you hoped someday to find. You told me about going to Greece and Italy, and I was jealous, but not in a bad way, just that you were that lucky. We both exhausted each other shopping, and it was a pain to get you away from the MAC counter. You, Kim, and I all called off work one night, and drove to Seattle at 4am just to try Krispy Kremes, and all agreed Tim Hortons was better. You made me mad when you bought the same skirt I did, and I still don’t remember why. We ate strawberry ice cream and you put vodka in it, and it still tasted good. I called you when my girlfriend was leaving me and I was falling apart. We celebrated my 24th birthday, and I don’t even remember most of it. We went out to breakfast the day before I left, at some crappy diner. I still have those pictures, I looked at them yesterday. We stopped talking for a while after I moved to back to Arizona. I was annoyed that you never asked about me, and only talked about yourself. A few years later you found me on facebook and we were friends again. We said we were sending each other cookies but never did. I found out you had a daughter and thought you were amazing for it, and saw how happy it made you. I laughed when you told me her name, because it was not surprising at all. We didn’t talk all the time, but I knew you were busy with school and her, and I was busy with whatever I was doing. I was glad we were in touch again. I didn’t know you died until 6 months after. I felt like someone punched me in my gut and I wanted to vomit. I became obsessed with what I was doing on that day, and it was nothing. I was doing nothing, and you died. I feel like I should have known, even from this far away. We weren’t best friends, sometimes good friends, in the end we were just friends. I’m still crying, and I told that friend of ours, who didn’t know either. We talked about you a little, but no one knows what to say. This is all I know to say. I wish I was there, that I could say goodbye in some way that felt proper and final and gave me closure, but I don’t know what that way is.

Dina and Nina Christmas 2003