One of you kept spices in black plastic film canisters and wept at my wedding. Another held a solstice party in your Montreal backyard. One of you was born in Africa and pretended with me that we were soldiers with the Germans after us. Another lived in an L-shaped house and knew how to ride and show horses. One of you went back to Japan; we wrote letters with secret compartments to fool your curious mother who opened your mail. One of you married and moved to the suburbs with my bread cookbook. Another tagged along with me and my best friend and copied what we did—we weren’t always nice to you. One of you arrived at the hospital minutes after your grandmother, who had raised you, had died. One of you took summers off work to spend with your daughter. Another loved Nancy Drew and cycled across Canada one summer. One of you had two cats named Zami and Elsa and loves to walk in forests. Another married a priest and moved to England. One of you loved lavender and died soon after your only daughter was born. Another lived across the street in an elegant house with a black maid. One of you had a pool, a dentist father, and ski hats with huge pompoms. One of you was an unhappy foster child with large dark-rimmed glasses. Another had a dark sense of humour that cracked me up, wrote poetry, and suffered from depression. One of you was my cheerful roommate at piano camp. Another used to receive long letters from me during your lonely first year at University of Toronto. One of you jumped over the snake on the warm dirt path first and then I did too.
To all of you, all of my lost friends: Thank You. I carry so many gifts from our times together. Wherever you are, however you are, I wish you well. I wish you joy. I send you love.