The radio is playing Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me Baby” as I come up for air after a prolonged kissing session in the front seat of Donna’s massive car. The kind of kissing session where we’re both trying to prove something. She’s trying to see how far I will go. I’m trying to see if this thing will work.
“About time,” Lisa says from the back seat.
Apparently her date wasn’t as interesting.
Donna and Lisa are two girls inseparable at the hip. Good friends from the time I met them to the time I moved away from Brockville. I dated Donna in the spring of 1982 and it was expected that Lisa was, by association, my best second friend. We met during an unexpected high school teacher’s strike, giving Brockvegas teens a prolonged summer break, meaning: a lot of kids with nothing to do. I was 16 and Donna and Lisa were 18. Donna and Lisa were two single girls living in their own house on the border of town, acquired suddenly due to Donna’s parents dying within months of each other. These girls (and their living arrangements) were parent’s worst nightmare: teens living alone in a relatively remote house. Needless to say theirs was a crash pad. But thanks to Lisa, it didn’t become a dive. Hers was the voice of reason and would loudly eject any shenanigan makers.
When Donna and I decided that we were going to “out”, Lisa showered us with comical threats of cradle robbing and pedophilia.
Lisa eventually hooked up with my best friend at the time, Michael, who was 16. So she wasn’t without reproach.
But she always was the smart one in our little group. She kept Donna on a path of mental health during her mourning. She would tell us when parties got a little out of hand, like when she shut down a particularly roudy fete after Tim Picotte accidentally put his hand through a window without blinking a drunken eye.
One memory of Lisa stands out the most. She and Donna were having a heated discussion as they cleaned up the kitchen about something long forgotten. Lisa was drying dishes and trying to convince Donna to do something or other and at the height of the argument/conversation, Lisa had a white Corelle dish* in her hand. Without comment, she unexpectedly marched to the side door of the house and flung the door open that lead to the all-cement car park.
Lisa opened the side door and, with a pitch that would have certainly made her popular with the Blue Jays, tossed the plate against the brick wall opposite the door.
The dish shattered. One thousand tiny shards. No one says a word.
“Hmf. Those fuckers do break,” she said calmly. Her anger subsiding, the heat of the argument diffused.
She had a knack of dismantling a situation.
I moved away from Brockvegas when I was 17 and kept up contact with Donna and Lisa for a while but life got in the way. The last I heard from her was that she was going into Childhood Studies at a local college and that she and Donna didn’t hang out much anymore. Recently thought, Lisa and I re-connected on Facebook and she would leave great comments on my wall about my blog posts. We chatted and I learned that she had a son and a single mom and was quite proud of him, evident by the glowing posts she would display in her profile. Her son was someone that she was immensely proud of and was the love of her life.
I learned this morning that Lisa passed suddenly on Friday. I don’t know the causes. My thoughts go out to her son and her family.*For those of you who don’t remember, Corelle dishes boasted loudly that they were made of a tempered glass and could not break, making them perfect for busy families.