Such cherished memories
come flooding back
as I remember us sitting for hours
composing poetry on your indoor porch
on Prospect Avenue.
“Come Softly” by The Fleetwoods,
played on your record player,
as we penned our words in our notebooks,
happy in our solitude together
as the sun warmed and inspired us.
The mailbox across the street
a true gift, where I could deposit
my daily letters to the boyfriend
I left behind in Jersey City when
circumstances moved me to Ridgefield.
You took me under your wing
and introduced me to suburbia.
You, Eddie B., and I walked to
high school together, even though
I was two grades behind you.
You were beautiful and sophisticated,
down to earth practicing your cheer-
leading cartwheels on your front lawn,
yet wearing your smarts with confidence!
I love how your joy-filled smile made your nose wrinkle!
You became my mentor of sorts
as I watched you prepare for a
date with your special someone,
sitting before the mirror at your vanity table,
carefully applying lipstick with a lip brush.
Your bras were perfectly ironed
and creased down the middle;
the seams of your stockings stretching
precisely along the middle of your legs. Emeraude
by Cody, your perfume of choice smelled wonderful!
You were so involved with all things
in our brand-new high school – yearbook,
sports, and designing the class ring. I followed
your lead, except for the sports and eventually
accepted suburbia as a not-so-bad-place to live.
We eventually lost touch when
you left for college. I remember
being surprised when I heard you
married the boy I had a crush on every Spring,
three years running! Happy it worked out! J
Fast forward to the 90s when
the mailman delivered
“Writing as a Way of Healing”,
a book I’d ordered, to help me
write about my oldest son who died.
I was truly shocked to see
“my” Louise had written the book!
Checking online, I learned of your extraordinary
career as a teacher and writer and ordered
more of your books.
Because I am impulsive,
I found your phone number,
excitedly calling to reconnect
and share with you I, too, had written
two books! You seemed taken aback
telling me you were on your way out
to an appointment. I don’t recall whether
you asked me to call back or that you would
call me… I promptly sent a letter apologizing
for my intrusion, but never heard back.
I was somewhat surprised and
flattered to find myself among
the pages of “Vertigo.” Our high-
school memories are quite different
and so I will read this book again….
We were best friends for a while
and shared many confidences. This
is why reading “Crazy in the Kitchen”
and “Vertigo” comes as a shock. I never
realized the turmoil and hardships you suffered.
But then again, I had my own problems
with “the witch” and leaving my former
home and school so abruptly, and having
to start over at fifteen. Perhaps our
friendship helped save us both.
I still have the gold Italian horn
pendent you gave me all those years ago,
and will cherish it along with our friendship.
I’m also looking forward to reading all of your books.
Rest in peace, dear Louise. I love you, my friend.
Eunice Guyre considers herself very lucky to have had a friend in Louise DeSalvo.