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Sarah: My Friend, My Cure

I have never been good at talking... And it's the weirdest thing to me. I mean, it's just verbal communication, right? Just noises coming out of your throat-- and yet somehow, I'm not good at it. Truthfully, it's not a physical disability, rather, a mental one. But calling me mental would mean therapy, and therapy is expensive, and with today's economy I can't afford to call it mental. Therefore, I'll just call it my "thing". At least that seems a little less awkward...but only a little.

Whenever I think about this "thing", I think of a good friend of mine. She's blonde and adorable as a portrait of Shirley Temple holding a baby bunny. In one word she could be described as thus: bubbling. She is a well-spring of laughs, insane, unmistakable emotion, and pink-lipped smiles. Think hot roseate decked out Barbie doll on laughing gas. Got the image in your head? Behold; you have seen Sarah. And her name-- her name is the icing on the cake. Do you know what the name Sarah means? Princess. It means princess. Of course... No surprise in that piece of information, is there?

Sarah is special. No, she's not mental like me, she's a good special. I guess to explain I need to start from the very beginning. We met a long time ago. Actually, I don't think it was really that long ago, it just feels like it. Anyway, I remember that I first met her in a tap dancing class. I remember this because she was good. No, she wasn't just good-- she was amazing. She always wore this hair-tie around her ponytail that had fake hot pink hair sticking out of it. That image is all too clear in my mind. I recall watching that fake pink hair fall down and float up, fall down and float up as she threw off her pull-backs. Stomp pull-back, stomp pull back; fall, float, fall, float. I also remember she wore glasses and was quiet, and secretly, I was glad. I'll tell you why-- This is a normal thing for quiet people like me... When there's another quiet person around, the gates of horror that unleash the thought that we might just need to utter a word to someone drift away. It's kind of like the feeling you get when someone else forgets the big homework assignment too. It's like, "well, as long as it's not just me." And that's what I figured about Sarah-- that she was just like me.

About a year and a half later, I figured something else out... I was wrong. Sarah wasn't just good at tapping, she was good at talking. She wasn't quiet or shy or dull or mental like me, she was a glittering orb of fairy dust with pink and purple sprinkles on top. I hope that she remembers the day that she first talked to me, because I don't recall it at all. All that my brain can recollect is that one second she was the shy girl in the corner doing amazing pull-backs with the fake pink hair, and the next, she was sitting next to me eating jellybeans talking about the psychology of men's minds after we had been hanging out at the dance studio for five hours straight. That was probably one of the greatest days of my life, just sitting around in that studio with her. You want to know why? During that five hours, I noticed something. Something amazing. Something ground-breaking, something that defies science and psychology as we know it... I noticed that I was good at talking. There was never a moment when I held back a word or had to think of what to say. Words just came out of my throat, spilling out as if my voice box had been plugged for years and was now overflowing. And that right there is the whole reason why Sarah is so special. Because somehow, around her, I became unmental. It's like her presence set off an invisible aura of safety around me. And to this very day, she has the right to boast, "I got through you. I got you to talk. Ha ha! Sarah did it!" Yes, Sarah did. Sarah penetrated the unpenetratable. Logically, my silence should have been caused by something that happened in my childhood, (according to my mother's psych books) and logically, the cure to my silence should have been sitting on a couch having some lady asking me how things make me feel. But very unlogically, we became the best of friends. Little dumpling Sarah with the loud laugh and bright-eyed smile sat next to the quiet anti-social introvert. Sure, we're not a picture of perfection, but who would want that anyway?

Sarah's opposition to me is just a taste of my cure. I still have my mental "thing" days when I can't seem to get a sentence out of myself, and wonder what's even the point of language, but then I think of Sarah, and her power of drawing me out of my pity-party cave-- and I try to fathom how such two extremely different people can find each other... How the delicate sprite tamed the lonely lion, how lets-go-have-a-tea-party-on-the-veranda met i-really-just-need-a-good-therapy-session, and why little red riding hood fell in love with the ashamed wolf. But then there's the times when all of the questions of how, why, and when fade off when we're together laughing at another inside joke...The times when the crooked picture of our friendship is thrown out of mind... The times when all the quiet girl can manage to say is, "I love you", and when the preppy extrovert replies, "You should, you little anti-social." Sarah and I are completely different and wrong for each other... And you know what? Thats makes us more alike than I ever knew.



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