I found myself inexplicably thinking about Brenda today.

When I was 18, I attended Computer Career Institute, where I learned useful things like COBOL (ID, Environment, Data, and Program!) and Assembler. It was there I met my first husband (*shudder*) and our friend Brenda. I can’t remember if Brenda arrived in Riverside before or after we arrived in Anaheim, but I remember it was nice to have a familiar face in California.

Brenda was tall and busty, a former model, who was working on “healing herself”, which she eventually did, keeping her polished walking stick as a memento. She hated it when I would say her name backwards, as I did often out of sheer silliness. She would unapologetically floss her teeth at the table, fuck as many people as she possibly could, and happily tell you about all of it. Did I want to know about the guy who couldn’t get it in because his penis was as thick as a can of Coke? No, I didn’t, and I bet you didn’t either. Now it will haunt us both. Her cure for a yeast infection was nudity and sunshine, which may actually work, but I was never game to try it. Brenda took us to art fairs, and we hung out at her place, commenting miserably on how all the smog from LA ended up in Riverside. Looking back, I wonder if she and the first ex had something going on. Not that I care–I certainly didn’t want the bastard.

What is strangest of all is to realize that this was almost 25 years ago, and if Brenda is still around, she is probably a feisty old lady, using her walking stick again for support and as a curmudgeonly weapon, and flossing what’s left of her teeth at the table.

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