Maggie Scratch in Yesteryear on the Road with Seneca

The friend who inspired Seneca is the ultimate BFF.

We were inseparable.

I love you Seneca.



Maggie Scratch tells it like it was…

At the end of the summer Seneca and I took a trip together in my new Volvo, a gift from Bubbe Berkowitz. Seneca nicknamed it The Vulva. We packed our sleeping bags and a tent and drove to Canada. All along the way we sang folk songs because the radio didn’t work. Seneca taught me “Four Strong Winds” and we sang that song over and over. We had several fights about how to put up the tent. Seneca was bossy. I got tired of fighting with her, I gave in. She was usually right. We hardly ever agreed about who should drive. It seemed to me that Seneca was always driving. When we looked at maps, I didn’t really care where we went but Seneca did, she had ideas. One starlit night, after a cranky day in the car, we ended up camping out in the Lake George Campgrounds. It was the best night of our trip. The air was fresh and we didn’t fight. We put up the tent, no problems. We ate Chef Boyardee with our spoons in the can. We found a tetherball and slugged. It was fun. We stayed up all night talking in our moldy sleeping bags. Seneca summed us up in one word. The same word she used to describe our tetherball game, “Tumultuous!” On Martha’s Vineyard I learned that eggs, butter, pickles and ketchup don’t have to be refrigerated. I washed my hair in a muddy swamp with a cake of Ivory soap. We lived on the beach, in the sand and the dunes. It was like a desert. The day we hiked four miles to go swimming in the Atlantic Ocean was the day I found out that Seneca had been lying to me. The dunes were high and hilly and full of tall grass. Seneca said she wanted to be alone and walked off by herself. At sunset I went looking for her. It was almost dark and I was getting worried when, there in a dune, surrounded by thick scrub, curled up in a ball, lying on her side, was the person I loved most in the world. Her face was exposed in the crook of an arm. Her eyes were closed. I was afraid to touch her.

“Seneca?” I whispered. “Sen, are you all right?”

One eye opened, then the other. I slumped down in the sand and slid an arm around her. After a minute she started to cry, not hysterically, but pathetically, sobbing, sucking in her breath like a child. Her nose grew red and began to run. I wiped my bare arm across it, drew her to me and held her in my arms.


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