Teenage best friends often match. My best friend – my stand partner who shall henceforth be known as KM because I’m lazy – had blond hair and fair skin and was (and still is) about a foot shorter than me. This made the matching of our outfits and hairstyles difficult, if not impossible.
Looks, however, are almost always deceiving. While we looked like Mutt and Jeff, we were a perfect match in our musical talent. By the time we were 15, we had both become members of the Billings Symphony Orchestra. (Side note: To celebrate this achievement, we went to the cafeteria at one of the local hospitals and ate onion rings while proclaiming to anyone who would listen that we had recently become “established members of the community.”)
That same year we perfected the Bach Double and took it on the road, competing in local and state festivals. We usually won. A judge once made this comment: “The only way I could tell which of you was playing what, was by staring at your fingers.”
It was not long after winning the Symphony auditions that we developed matching eating disorders. Fainting spells be damned, we needed to be thin. Therefore, we spent a lot of time at the YMCA in the gym, working out and weighing ourselves obsessively.
Write this down and tuck it away for later: “YMCA Locker Room”
Real quick, I have to digress and mention something that will make sense later on.
KM had a boyfriend. He hailed all the way from exotic San Bernardino and was a student at Rocky Mountain College – something to do with some strange sport called “football.” We spent a lot of time at the Rocky dorms visiting this person whose name I’ve now completely forgotten.
Write this down and tuck it away for later: ”Rocky Mountain College Dormitory Locker Room”
We planned for weeks while serving detention for getting drunk at school the previous month. We watched movies like “Sleeping With The Enemy” to learn how to disappear in a hurry. We pointed blindly to locations on the U.S. map to figure out where to go. The choice was ultimately made to head to Seattle on a Greyhound bus after cutting and dying our hair, with one of us shoving a pillow under her shirt to appear pregnant.
We were ready and completely unstoppable, so we thought, and boldly picked a day on the calendar to take the leap to freedom…
- The Milk Carton Incident: Prologue (thehamsterwheelblog.com)
- The Milk Carton Incident, Part 1: Partners (thehamsterwheelblog.com)