– I Remember Essay, Research Paper
I remember the kid next door with whom I grew up, a short and stocky lad
named Donald Meaux. Did I say stocky? A modern day Pillsbury Dough Boy with
high top sneakers and knee high-socks is a more accurate description. He has been
my next door neighbor for more than eighteen years. We met as most children do
through the friendship of our parents. Our fathers shared cold beers in the evening,
while our mothers gossiped in the kitchen over tea. Their two diapered infants
played in the playpen together day in and day out. In this friendship, which was
similar to that of a married couple, Donald and I had our ups and our downs; yet for
ten years, we spent day after day together. We often fought, and then we made up
once the ice cream man came around the corner in his magical truck. But, like most
good things, the friendship wore away with time.
I remember Donald as a spoiled, aggravating four year old. Neither of these
are characteristics that anyone looks for in a lifelong friendship. Yet, characteristics
like these are not very important to a child of four. At four years old, people hardly
ever make logical decisions. After all, Donald and I did share a bowl of dog food
for dessert every now and then. For the first few years, our friendship was flawless.
We spent day after day together. On the weekends, we took turns sleeping at each
other’s houses. I used to love sleeping at Don’s house, because we were allowed to
stay up later there than at my house. Another thing I loved about their house was
the coveted “midnight snack,” which consisted of either chocolate milk or Fruity
Pebbles. We kept ourselves awake until midnight, ate our snack, and then went to
sleep. We remained good, close friends for years.
As time went on, Don and I started having problems as friends, which was
quite understandable since we spent every day together. Needless to say, we got on
each other’s nerves. He was obnoxious and aggravating. I was ornery and a
momma’s boy. I remember how he loved Nintendo. He used to play for hours on
end, and he was good. One day he was playing Super Mario 3, and he was about to
defeat the game. Just as he was winning, I turned off the television and blinded his
When Don turned the television back on, it was too late; he had lost. He was
furious with me and literally attacked me like a wild predator. He scratched,
clawed, and bit me, while I punched and kicked him for at least thirty seconds.
Then we got tired and fell down. After that, we just started laughing and that was it.
The fight was over. This kind of friendship is one that people do not expect to end.
As anyone can guess, time took its toll on our friendship. The friendship
deteriorated during our first year in high school. There was not anything
complicated about it; it just happened. He kept his old friends, and I made new
ones. I played sports and he did not . I went out on the weekends and he stayed
home. As the years passed, we found ourselves even farther apart. We even found
ourselves avoiding each other at school to bypass an awkward situation, and I
stopped going over to his house after school. We lived less than fifty yards away,
but for years it felt as though it were miles.
Over the eighteen years that I have known Donald, I have learned a lot. I
have learned that people can and will change. I have also learned that bad things
get worse if you let them linger, like old meat left out on the counter to spoil.
Finally, I have learned that there is a bright side to everything, even this. About two
weeks ago, Donald came home from Baton Rouge and stopped by my house. We
ended up talking for hours about old times and school. We spoke for the first time
in over three years and had what was probably the most interesting conversation the
two of us have ever had. Is this not ironic? For years we lived so close physically,
yet so far apart socially. We lived next door to each other, but could not stop by
each other’s house just to talk. Only when one of us moved far away to college did
we find it in ourselves to once again visit with each other.