Sixty Four: When a Memory Bites You in the Rear

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” – Haruki Murakami

I had a great best friend in university. We met through a mutual friend, and she invited me over to her house for fresh-baked cookies the day I went through a terrible break-up. We slowly became inseparable: dying our hair funky colors, becoming roommates, and traveling abroad together. We were a package deal. Tonight I had a flashback of treating my said partner-in-crime abysmally and it’s gutting me.

We had a great apartment in the center of a funky working class neighborhood. Hardwood floors, huge windows, lots of light, brick. It was my dream apartment as a young woman. My friend and I were surprised it came available at the same time we needed a place to live. We snapped it up and made it our own. It was an easy commute to school. We loved our neighbors. It was a fun place to live.

The apartment was on the second floor above storefronts. Our unit looked over towards the neighboring high school and we had rooftop access. Stairs were locked off from street level to access the rooftop, thereby keeping our big window out to the world relatively private. Then one night, I woke to my friend screaming. From her bedroom (that also looked out onto the rooftop), she could see a shadowy figure. I seem to remember it was a graffiti artist trying to get some paint up. She yelled at him to leave before she called the police. I was sleepy and confused, and was of absolutely no help to her.

I was no help to her as the days went on. The intruder really shook her up, and I brushed it off as no big deal. It was a big deal to her. She started getting really stressed in the night-time, and eventually she moved out of the apartment. It put a dent in our friendship for a long while after that. We’ve since made amends, but it’s nagging me that I might never have acknowledged what a tosser I was in that situation.

We can let bygones be bygones, but isn’t there value in admitting you were wrong even if it comes years too late?


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