Age of Eleven

Aquarian [11:11] Transmissions

30 Day Letter Challenge: Day 1 — Your Best Friend

ChiChi TemboComment



You’ve been my partner in crime THE LONGEST, and we’ve probably done some of the most illegal, ridiculous things while underage that we wouldn’t even consider now that we’re well old enough. I’d like to take a few moments to revisit our Life Story, but let me start by stating you’re the main person who gets me. I think our shared childhood antics contribute to our compatibility, and if I could have a Best Friend Civil Union Marriage Ceremony, be damn sure I would.

What do people’s friends do for them? Friends don’t let friends remain hot messes. You’ve done nothing but uplift my life and give me countless laughs. You got me into fitness and exercise. You taught me how to knit. (!!!) You’ve encouraged me to NOT BE AFRAID OF COOKING. You give me patience to deal with my nutty boyfriend. You know exactly when the perfect time is to ditch the gym and grab a beer and talk about life. You have my back.

We fucking rule, and we’re secretly so much better than so many other people, but I won’t tell them (they already know).

You make my life better, and for that, I am ultimately thankful.

I remember when I first encountered you— you were with Camille Bejar and it must have been freshman year of high school. I was 13. I don’t know *how* we started hanging out, do you? All I know is that we were fast friends.

The world, school, our families were always fucked up (or at least too much of a hassle for us to deal with), and we were always trying to *get away* from it all.

Our midnight rendezvouses consisted of sneaking out of our parents’ apartments in Palatine in the middle of the night and hanging out. I’d walk across Rand Road from the Winslowe Drive apartments to your mom’s house in Baldwin Court. Sometimes we’d hang out at Lazz’s house (mine was never an option). We’d play Scrabble and Incubus, or go to Bum Bridge with Chris.

We weren’t even doing drugs or drinking, really (we smoked Camel cigarettes sometimes); why did I always get cast as the disobedient, wayward child by my parents? Oh yeah, #conservativeChristianity. If ONLY my parents knew what Jessie was up to!

You and I single(double?)handedly put Spitalfield on Palatine High School’s radar, and spent a lot of time and money at shows. Metro, VFWs, Elk Grove Teen Center, Lemont Lesnieski Center, that one theatre way down Northwest Highway…wow. Just, wow. We were the indie chicks and nobody could top us in indie-ness.

Carlos entered the picture, and the fun doubled (none of my boyfriends from that era mattered). We’d drive for what seemed like hours to party at his place on the way south side.

I remember once you and Carlos stopped by my parents’ apartment and I was asleep in the living room. I was a bit embarrassed because there were loose strands of weave everywhere (probably my sister’s doing), and I wasn’t comfortable talking about my fake hair at that point in time.

Fast forward: we’d ditch school (I’d call the absentee line at PHS and fake my mother’s accent) to take road trips to see Incubus and Spitalfield, having our first jobs be in the same shopping center (OMax & Lakeshore), etc.


Somewhere in the midst of all this, me, Emily, Jessie, and sometimes Stephanie would drive to The City (it was such a huge deal) to visit you. We’d drive (Emily would drive) around Chicago, drinking Old Style tallboys and taking ridiculous pictures. I do remember *someone* changing a tampon in the car while we were parked at a gas station once. Why didn’t the tampon changer, who shall not be named, just go into the gas station’s bathroom?

When I “went to college,” we spent long nights at NIU. Playing acoustic guitar all night long (the first song we learned was Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight Tonight,” thanks to Jack Spethmann). There were also Mario Smash Bros. tournaments in Marc and Joey’s room, and countless other DeKalb adventures.

Then I kind of #felloff. I was super into church; it consumed me. I remember wanting you to be “saved” SO very bad, and trying to explain to you that smoking was bad because our bodies are Christ’s temple.


But somehow (after my academic dismissal from Northern), I broke free of the church chains and ran away from my Palatine home— but not before my dad “served” me with fake court papers, alleging that I was “a disobedient child.” Oh, and we can’t forget the part where he accused me of having a lesbian relationship with you because we spent so much time together (some things never change).

You were there for me, as always, and we spent a week or so living at your cousin Jocelyn’s apartment. What the fuck did we do all day while we lived there? I was probably still commuting to Sam Ash. I’m just thankful we found our first dungeon apartment together before we were homeless losers.

In retrospect, our apartment sucked, but it was home.

Litzy. The two-day roommate. Wigs and porno. OMFG.

Carlos gave us a couch; Frank installed a mailbox and we were excited. Allie and Shane spent the night during the VERY hot Bluesfest week. Lesbian Stacey came into our lives and enticed us to join Bally’s with her (I believe she paid). Mike Chorvat came over and taught us how to sing from our diaphragms (we would sit on the floor against the wall and belting to CD instrumental versions of pop songs).

I once came home from work to a raging party with Sarah Hernandez-Klick and Jon (and another kid who dressed like the dude from ACDC), and maybe Natalie, and maybe Tina Aguilar. Remember Matt, the tall kid with the curly hair who cleaned our entire apartment at 4 a.m.? (That may have also been the night you smashed the glass in the china cabinet in the kitchen. Nothing a little duct tape can’t fix).


Vodka mixed with iced tea (or was it Kool-Aid)?

A $1000 gas bill.


Danny Wade and The Breakfast Club (he hates that movie. Teehee).


Then we succumbed to some dumbness and broke up for a bit. Young girls who couldn’t talk about issues nor own up to our actions. We both did dumb shit, but everyone who’s young does. I just have no respect for people who are over 19 and do dumber shit than what we did. The difference with us, though, is that we learned. And a year or so later, we reconciled. 

We’ve been back, and better than ever. You’ve helped me break up with not only dumb boys, but dumb girls. You make the best mixtapes known to man (90s R&B forever). Instead of crying to me about all the shit Sean talks, you give it right back to him and have (gasp) actually rendered him speechless (and that is a feat)! You’re the main person I know I can take anywhere with me, and people will love you. EVERYONE FUCKING LOVES YOU, BITCH.

We just have to take over the world. Actually, sometimes when I’m high, I sit back and think, “this is mine and Ange’s world; everyone else is just living in it.” I still think the business concept of “starting businesses and letting other people implement and run them” is a genius idea. We’ll show them someday.

Fuck accounting.

I’m glad I summarized the last 11 years, because we have many more to go.

Thanks for the memories.