You were my best friend for almost 4 decades. At first, I didn't think I'd like you very much, but my surprising affection for you grew on me. Your visits were the one thing I could look forward to-like clockwork. I know I didn't always seem to appreciate your visits and often got upset with you, but really, you were good for me.
A few years ago though, I noticed things with you weren't quite the same. You'd come in and out of my life with little regularity. Often, you'd go missing for months and then suddenly reappear. I really didn't have much appreciation for you until I noticed you'd gone missing for nigh on a year. The other day, I was giving a lot of thought to how I truly felt with you seemingly, completely gone from my life now. And just like that, there you were again. Was it the power of positive thinking that brought you back?
I was lamenting the things you took with you when you went. Like skin elasticity. Memory. Stamina. Bone sturdiness. Regularity. My whisker free face. Mood stability. Libido. Continence. My internal thermometer. I was truly regretting the times I'd thought badly of you and the times we weren't honest about our friendship. At least I wasn't. In truth, sometimes I hated you.
I hated you the day you showed up in my life. It was halfway through my school day in the sixth grade when you introduced yourself. I looked all cute that day in a plaid skirt and then suddenly, in the middle of math class, I thought I'd wet my pants. Nope. It was you. I had to slink through a full classroom, with a soiled skirt and walk the gauntlet of shame to the gym so the lady gym teacher could help me. She was a Godsend that day with the clean panties and supplies she gave me. When I got home from school, Mom's only words were, "welcome to the club" as she handed me a box of junk to help me deal with your visits. In some ways, I was proud that I'd crossed this threshold into adulthood. However, it took me years to get over my anger for the way you introduced yourself. That was hard to forgive and forget. I wasn't aware of just what you'd mean to me when you finally left me. In fact, it took nearly a lifetime to understand the benefits of consorting with you and now, I find myself regretting that I didn't appreciate you more. It's that love/hate thing. Like a bad marriage.
Who could blame me though? You always did have a horrific sense of timing. Over the years, I got used to the way you inconvenienced me. Like showing up on my honeymoon. That was just rude. I should have expected it, but somehow, I just didn't; you were an interloper. I was devastated the day you appeared halfway through my first pregnancy. You being there in full force could only mean one thing-and I cursed you for it. That visit was crushing. A few years ago, when my friend's daughter died, you left me for awhile. I thought you could have been heartbroken too. You stayed away for months, then waltzed back in and it was business as usual.
It's been 9 full months now since I've seen you. I was just getting used to you perhaps, being gone forever. I was mourning you. I was noticing the positive things you'd done for me over the years. Well, that's not quite true. What I was mourning was the things you took with you when you left. Now you're back and I find myself wondering just how long you'll stick around this time. I've gone out to buy a box of junk to help me deal with your visits and find myself wondering how big a box or how many boxes to buy. Knowing you, you'll play those cards close to your chest.