I’m wearing one of my favourite skirts today. It’s long and black and funky, with embroidered designs and black beads around the bottom. It’s filmy and flowing – like a peasant skirt without the wrinkles.

I’ve had this skirt for about 14 years. It hung in the back of my closet for quite awhile, abandoned because the elastic was shot and I didn’t bother to fix it for a long time. But now it’s been revived and it’s back near the front of the closet where it gets pulled out and worn nearly once a week. I like to wear it with a black shirt and a purple silk scarf slung jauntily around my neck.

The skirt was a gift from Kari, my room-mate and best friend at the time. She spent a few months in London, during which time she sent me raunchy postcards from Soho, and when she came back, she brought me the skirt.

I miss Kari. I think it’s been ten years since I saw her. She came to visit me in the hospital when Nikki was born, and I think that’s the last I saw of her. Maybe because I got caught up in starting a family (Julie came shortly after Nikki, so I got a little overwhelmed), and got too busy to invest much energy in friendships, we drifted apart. She moved around a bit, I lost her phone number, and now I no longer know how to find her.

A couple of years ago, I was walking from work to the University to meet Marcel, and when I got there, he said “you’ll never guess who I just saw.” It was Kari, and she was carrying a little boy – her son. She was running late and didn’t have time to wait to see me, so I missed her. She didn’t leave her number. Poof, she disappeared again. I didn’t get to see her little boy.

I don’t have a very good track record for hanging onto friends. They either move away, or we drift apart, and I don’t bother to call. It makes me sad. I’ve had some incredible friends over the years – soulmates who own pieces of my heart – but I’ve let them float away into the great unknown.

Kari was one of the best. We had so much fun together. She brought out the “crazy” in me, because she was much more uninhibited than me. We told each other wild secrets, we kept each other sane when our other roommate was driving us crazy, we marched in protests together, we stayed up late laughing and concocting weird food combinations – we did all the things twenty-something girls are supposed to do when they share an apartment and haven’t gotten weighed down with a lot of responsibilities yet.

I think I should look Kari up again – call her parents or something. I need to let her know I still wear the skirt and I still think of her whenever I do.

Kari – if you stumble across this blog, call me.

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