Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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On April 21st of 2005, I believe, an old friend of mine from grad school called.

The J-Spot had been working at Wal-Mart in Blackfoot and occasionally saw Mario, whom I had lost track of a few years before. Mario and I had been buddies all through grad schol, together all the time, and had gone through some really hard times together. We were very similar in terms of our ethics and beliefs, practices and taste in TV. (We'd drive to places to go do ethnographic research and talk about the decline of The X-Files. Yes, we were real scientists, especially Mario, who had his undergrad degree in psychology, a masters in biology, and was working on a master in medical anthropology and was going to also get an RN so he could be a nurse.) So when I heard he was back in the area, I told the J-Spot to give Mario my information so he could call. And Mario did.

We talked for about 1 1/2 hours, just like old times. He offered his phone number and I told him it was on the caller ID and I'd get it off of there and give him a call in about a month, after the baby was born.

And then I went into labor early, Mario's number fell off the caller ID, and no matter how I searched, I couldn't find him again.

So this afternoon, while I'm working on my story because (other than the kids) that's what today was dedicated to (working on my story and calling my step-mother and wishing her a happy birthday), I wasn't even going to change out of my pajamas (and still haven't), I get a phone call from an out-of-state unknown number. I almost didn't answer the phone; telemarketers had been calling all day and were driving me nuts.

But I did answer and I heard Mario say, "Is Maggie there?" "Mario!" (He chuckles here.) And I explained why I hadn't called and how I was (and still am) so glad he did finally, and I told him how I couldn't find him, and then we proceeded to talk for 2 1/2 hours.

He's an RN, has moved to Oregon and back to Boise since we last spoke (so even if I had kept his number, I still may not have been able to find him), and life is mostly good. Not a lot has changed, which is good and sad (he would like some things from life that he hasn't found yet), and somehow comforting. Still ethical, rational, a scientist and a humane person trying to do the best thing, who can't understand all the heartache people cause to one another. Still my buddy.

And yes, we exchanged everything but social security numbers so we can find one another again. We can email and call and all of the things friends do. And he's planning on being in town at the end of March, so hopefully I can see him then.

And I still have a story to work on. But thank heavens for old friends, and new ones, too.

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