Jess moved down the street from me when we were 9 years old. She was that textbook ghetto white girl from across the pond that would kick your ass if you looked at her wrong. Her mother had married “Bob Jenkins,” whose kids were my age and the whole family had curly red hair and a reputation as an out of the box unruly bunch. In the entire span of 33 years I’ve only had about 5 girls that I was inseparable from at some point, and Jess is one of these girls. You see, my family came to New Orleans from Normandy in the 1500’s and when we were little my mother became the first generation to move away. In the neighborhood I came up in there were 3 little girls from NOLA whose parents had moved them to the country and the three of us had this instant bond. We had a familiar spirit in each other that was uncommon in that shithole where people do things like go cowtipping.

If you’ve ever seen the movie “Brokedown Palace” its a fair comparison (I would’ve been Claire Danes and Jess would’ve been Kate Beckinsale). She’s always been more responsible and level headed, and she’s always busted ass to reach her goals. I on the other hand, was the flaky opportunity waster who got us in trouble whenever possible. When we graduated from high school she came here to UNO and I went LSU in Baton Rouge. We both hated our respective places so I transferred to SLU in Hammond and Jess ended up finishing at LSU. We both got married, both moved with our husbands to the shithole in the country, both had a stepson, were both traumatized by our husbands, both got divorced and then both moved back to New Orleans where she lives 2 floors under me in the same apartment building. Neither of us has ever ever remarried or had children, and other than my year in the Uinta mountains, we’ve never lived move than 45 minutes apart. We did have two non-speaking periods. The first was about a decade ago and I can’t remember the cause and the second was about a year ago over a man.

When we were in the 9th grade we had this semester long project for free enterprise class where we had to basically map out our lives. For her career choice Jess chose a veterinarian and for her required interview she chose “Dr. Benton” whom I absolutely adored because she’s one of the most intelligent women in the stratosphere. Dr. Benton was very impressed with this teeny astute fireball and offered her a part-time job. Jessica accepted and worked there for the next 16 years until she decided to go to nursing school. When she graduated from nursing school (accelerated program, no less) there were jobs everywhere but they all sucked. She’s had no problem finding jobs but because of Jindal’s shit she keeps getting laid-off from the ones she likes. So today she says she interviewing across the pond and looking for a house over there. If she moves it’ll be at least an hour away. I’m really stressing out about it. Even if you don’t like somebody, after having them be such a huge part of your life for so many years, the idea of them being gone is stressful. Its even worse when its someone your close to. I’m just upset.





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