Now we went walking in the rain
Talking about the pain from the world we hid
Now there ain’t nobody nowhere nohow
Gonna ever understand me the way you did
–From Springsteen’s Bobby Jean (1984)
Like the bored suburban housewife Roberta who was fascinated with the life of Susan in Desperately Seeking Susan (1985), I was fascinated with the life of Eddi Day, my best friend and companion from 6th Grade. For those of you just joining us, I wrote about finding Eddi’s address recently via Internet research. I sent her a letter, but I haven’t heard back from her yet.
I can’t wait to find my long lost friend.
Recently, I’ve been fearlessly trekking through a number of bins in the basement. Unbelievably, late last night, I came across this still-sealed card I tried to send to Eddi in 1987. Get a load of my note to the Postmaster: “Please find my friend!”
Eddi has always been in my heart. I can still see her short, butter-blonde hair like it was yesterday. She is standing at the Tastee Freeze in Ozark, Arkansas, and waving goodbye to me. She is so unbelievably sad that I am moving away.
Eddi wore rust-colored corduroys and had a scar under her eye, put there by her brother’s stray BB-Gun. She was so funny. We became fast friends in the lunch line one day. She was making fun of the food, and when she said the rice looked like maggots, I knew she was smart and I wanted her to be my friend.
For nearly 30 years, I have thought about Eddi every time I found a coin in the dryer. Eddi’s mother saved coins she found in the laundry in hopes of one day having enough money to buy a new machine.
Eddi lived in the Ozark Mountains. I have no idea what her world was like up there on the mountain. She never wanted me to come to her house. “We don’t have pictures on the walls like you do at your house,” she confided. All I knew was that nobody could ever take the place of Eddi Day. She was the kindest childhood friend I ever had — and the smartest one, too.
On those snowy days, when the school bus couldn’t make it up the mountain to Eddi’s house, I missed her terribly. I still miss her and hope that in my effort to find her, I also find that same girl who loved just me. We were the perfect pair. Eddi cracked the jokes and nobody was more entertained than me. If I hear back from Eddi, I’m going to send her this unopened card. And, if I don’t hear back from her, I’m going to keep it for another 30 years.
Update: August 3, 2008
The little yellow sticker says: “No mail receptacle available. Unable to forward.”
I found my long lost friend from childhood! Eddi and I became Facebook friends in 2015. I was able to find her by sending messages to people with her last name in and around the region of Arkansas where we lived.