freeway friends

Are you ever in the grocery store, and another person keeps being on the same aisles as you, so you start to consider yourself friends? Maybe you crack a joke about it, make small talk, and fall in love. That last part has never happened to me, but it happens in movies, so that counts. Maybe one of you (never me) makes it awkward, like asks me a question like I work there or something. You know I don’t work here, we’ve been shopping buddies all day!

I do it on the freeway too, on long road trips. “Oh look, there’s good old Red Honda.” And then you’re sad when one of you exits, ending the fun. You never even got to say goodbye! Except once when I was a kid, one of my freeway friends was a child in the car next to me, and she waved at me! That totally sealed the whole friend thing, and made it real. It made my day, and I spent the rest of the car ride planning out my future adventures with my new best friend.

Then later, we got to where we were going (an amusement park) and I SAW THE KID THAT WAVED AT ME! I waved back at her, but she showed no signs of recognition. She just stared at me with a blank “who the heck is this joker?” stare. Those miles on the freeway meant nothing to her. Nothing! I admit, my feelings were hurt. How could she just forget me like that? We had so many adventures together. In my head, but still. That girl probably doesn’t even remember me now. Who remembers “some girl that waved at me at an amusement park when I was 9”? I was not the stand-out-in-a-crowd gal then that I am now. But I remember her. I remember our friendship, even if it was brief. And imaginary.