Although I wanted to be a big city girl growing up, my story had me in a Mayberry kind of place during my youth.
Everything was not in black and white by any means. My Mayberry was in technicolor with the taste of Natural Light Beer or Zimas that had baked in the trunks of first cars in the high school parking lot and memories of house parties in the winter and bonfires in the spring, summer and fall.
I can’t help but think of you in Mayberry. How I miss you sitting next to me during games of power hour or around the bonfire chanting I hate rabbits in hopes of making the smoke move from stinking our clothes and hair to the other side of the circle to make the eyes of our friends burn and water across from us.
How I remember you sat next to me in Spanish IV, taught me how to shop for legit thrift shop tees, change the oil in my 5 speed- manual Dodge Neon or just loved a heart-broken girl who lost her mother freshman year in high school.
I miss seeing all of you in Mayberry.
Now it is just Facebook posts and Twitter tweets and I feel like I know more about which side of the aisle you stand on than I can remember the crooked teeth that settled back in your smile because you didn’t faithfully wear your retainer.
I miss feeling your shoulder next to mine and your laugh.
I miss seeing you in three-dimension and technicolor instead of 140 character posts and emojis that show up in my feed.
I miss Mayberry being a place where we could talk about real issues face to face, around a table at a house party or around a bonfire. Because heavy conversations should be had in three-dimension. Not in 140 characters on a feed.
My heart has been heavy from only experiencing you and where you stand on candidates, abortion, refugees and women’s rights. I have become frustrated. I’ve thought about this. I’ve thought about you. And I confess I have forgotten to see the three-dimensional, technicolor, Natural Light breath version of you. I’ve seen posts, and I have forgotten the entirety of you.
That we are different. And I am thankful for that. We think differently about issues and the differences I experienced in Mayberry make me who I am today. Your story is weaved into the patchwork of mine because of time spent cruising in the Neon or conversations around the bonfire.
And damn, we have had fun times and you can make me laugh.
I wish we could make it back to Mayberry and wade through spouses, children, jobs, states and time to sit around a kitchen table with week old Natural Light or Zimas (if they still make those) with Jolly Ranchers sunk down in the bottom of the bottle. The conversations about candidates, abortion, refugees and women’s rights would be much different. I’d see you in three dimension and I’d remember the whole you.
Because the more I think about you in technicolor, in Mayberry, around that bonfire. The more I remember my deep affection for you and the crooked teeth in that smile.
You are not just someone standing on the left or the right. You are a whole person. You are my friend. And I believe our friendship and our experiences together are much deeper than our polictical choices.
I miss you in Mayberry. I want more often to think of you there instead of words on my mobile screen.
I miss seeing you in three-dimension.