Sunday, June 14, 2009

Denver G. Olmstead, Happy Birthday!

I got an message in my facebook over a month or so ago from Denver, asking for memories from friends for her 30th birthday. I was so happy when I got this, but also scared. I have been thinking about what I would write ever since, there is so much that it is really hard to narrow it down. With the help of Josh, decided to quit being a wuss and post it. So there. Thanks Josh.

I met her when we were 14. She came into the 9th grade from Logan. I remember starring at her in chorus. I memorized everything about her. She was wearing a navy blue Waterfront t-shirt, (I thought I knew everyone in the world that knew that band), her jeans were cut off on the bottom because she was so tiny, self-made Fimo beaded necklaces and a hair wrap. Her hair was really long then and she parted it in the middle. I even remember how she sat there with her Doc Martin boot crossed on top of her knee. My friend Laurel introduced us and that was it...Together everyday there after. I loved her.

We had so much in common and it started mostly with music. We even had an imaginary rock band called Suck Box. We each gave ourselves nicknames and I wrote ridiculous poems about us. She was always so encouraging of me and my writing. We planned shows for The Red Bennies, Catfish, The Numbs, Grain, gah...I can't remember all of the bands, the shows rocked the armory and a local theater in Vernal. Big hits with the kids all of them. It was so fun. Although after one of those show it was particularly stressful for Denver and I am ashamed to say, that I gave Denver her first cigarette at age 16. I clearly remember her getting extremely sweaty and flushed and then vomiting next to my car. Eeek, so sorry about that one. Denver was such a good influence on me and I was such a bad influence on her.

We both got way into photography together and took pictures of ourselves posing all over her house on Christmas day after she got her first camera and dark room kit. I still have all of them. We were terribly cute and terribly late 90s, big jeans, thrift store jackets, and big ass t-shirts. I will scan them soon so you can all see how adorable we were. We were in plays together and went to Lagoon a bunch times. When we went in the 9th grade, Denver got a Playboy bunny painted on her face and I got a fake tattoo on my chest. We died our friend Julia's hair hot pink. Separate hairstyling occasion I cut our friend Emily's hair in Denver's bedroom. It was sort of a disaster. We would just BE together a lot....talking, listening to music, burning incense to this day I can not smell Nag Champa without thinking of her. As an adult I rarely do that outside of being with my kids, I wish it was easier for adults to not have to be DOing something and to just BE.

I spent so much time with Denver and her family and I am so grateful for it. I would sleep over there a lot. We would spend hours playing with the Ouija board or putting another hair wrap in my unbelievably long hair. Denver comes from a very welcoming family. Her mom is the sweetest lady and damn can she cook. The best crepes I have ever had, seriously ever! Her dad is so nice and even when I would go over there and she was still at swim practice, he would invite me in to wait and he would chat with me the whole time. Shannon was away at school, but when she would come to Vernal she was so cool to us. And then there was Waterfront the black lab, loving big old doggy.

I picked her up for school sometimes. She was not a morning person and it was such a hassle getting her up and out the door. She was one of the only Juniors I knew that would come to school with a mug of coffee. I would drive her home before she had her car. I remember once when I was leaving the parking lot we almost got hit on Denver's side by a car full of cheerleaders. I lost it, got out of the car, spit a lugee on the windshield and screamed something to the effect of, "Watch what the fuck you are doing! You almost hit my car and could have killed my best fucking friend!" That is love right there and also me being a bitchy bad influence.

Denver stuck by me through a lot of crazy and horrible stuff. I really wasn't mature enough at the time to know what that meant. We stopped hanging out near the end of our Senior year, but we still walked the line together at graduation. That would have been the perfect opportunity for me to stop being obstinate and let whatever was causing us friction die. Unfortunately that didn't happen, I was unaware of what a good friend I had in Denver. I have yet to find another girl that could match the love and loyalty I got from her. I took her for granted and have regretted it ever since. I missed out on so much of her life these past 12 years. Even now we hover around each other in the same social groups and have yet to reconnect. Life, I guess.

Denver Graziani Olmstead is brilliant, sweet, loving, funny, and has a great sense of taste. I miss her so very much as my best friend, but I am so thankful for the time she was in my life. I am so happy to see all of her success and wish her so much more. She is so special and beautiful that only good can come to her. Thank you Denver for being my friend and for teaching me so much about myself. I will always love you and wish you the greatest joys for the next 30 years and beyond.


Denver said...

As I recall, I didn't so much get sick right next to your car, but by the side of your shoes. You were helping me back to my car, your arm wrapped around me for support. You didn't even flinch when it happened.

Must say I appreciate the birthday gift. Memories are always fun because you are able to see another side to your life through another persons eyes. I laughed reading this. And even though our lives have drifted in different directions, we sure did have a lot of fun while we hung out.

Hope you know that I wish you the best in all your endeavors and I still have support for your writing, your life, and your ambitions. And who knows, maybe we'll find in the next 30 years a moment where our life energies merge again. You never know.

Lots of love. Thanks Vanessa!