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E and M are a riot in the mornings! Driving 50 miles one way to the charter school once a week or so, we are never bored. E automatically reaches for the car keys—my baby turned licensed driver.

Both girls are 18, in their last semester of high school, and pushing themselves through to finish before the Big Day arrives—when they can finally toss their caps in the air and spread their wings to fly.

They’ve been friends almost their entire lives, but there are days when they act like sisters… alternating between loving and hating each other—most of the time intensely and sometimes simultaneously.

On a typical morning, from the moment M gets into the car the conversation starts. From reminiscing of summer camp escapades and comparing scars from childhood (and recent) injuries, to singing Broadway soundtracks and Disney princess songs… If you wanna be pop-u-u-lar…! I join in for three-part harmony.

We listen to M’s review of her latest read:

It’s called Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. It’s really interesting—and hilarious. It does get a little graphic, though, like in describing the stump of a head—

(Ugh! That’s when I stop listening or change the subject!)

They discuss the difference between a geek and a nerd, their writing class projects, and M’s mom’s bout with cancer.

Did you know that her thyroid was donated to Science, so student doctors could dissect and analyze it?

We didn’t know that. Which led into the pros and cons of donating our bodies to Science after death… which then led to E admitting she hates seeing dead bodies at memorial services… which then led to her agreeing that I should donate my body, sparing her of having to look at me in a coffin someday.

M now works at the same café where E used to work. So there’s usually at least one incidental remark about what’s going on there, and who was hired or fired. From M’s analytical mind comes the strangest quips:

Cleaning the café kitchen is sort of like a battle of the pathogenians allied with the germians against the sanitarians.

She tells us about the newest items to come to the store, and how to make the most amazing smoothie with mangoes and blueberries and whichever other fresh fruits are in stock.

Of course they talk about their latest date or newest heartbreak, other friends’ latest dates or newest heartbreaks, movies, music, and youth group.

When ASB (Associated Student Body) elections were held, both girls ran. They thought of platforms, made posters, and freely critiqued their opponents. With the Gryphons as mascot, M came up with the slogan, The Fellowship of the Wings. E decided she just wanted to save the penguins. A couple weeks later, neither was impressed with the guy who won the presidency, only because he promised to have a soda machine put on campus, they guessed.

Conversations also include Dr. Who, upcoming field trips, Grad Night at Disneyland, exit exams, one annoying little brother, one annoying big brother, and the brother-in-law who just caught a fat mouse.

For anyone interested, suffocating black widow spiders in a jar is done by dipping a cotton ball in nail polish remover and putting it inside. M learned that from her dad.

Then we stop to pick up H, and the Subaru is packed tightly with girls and lots of girly stuff.

The conversation immediately switches to adorable outfits, braces, bumper stickers, newest apps, create-your-own-alien game, tv programs from the 80s and 90s—Wishbone, My Little Pony, Blues Clues—and those awful 90s’ clothing styles.

If there’s time before school starts we make a quick stop at Starbucks.

After school it’s Jamba Juice—and a quieter trip home, as it’s been a long day and everyone’s tired.

Cinderella, etc.

Who knows what the topic will be next week… princesses or aliens or…?

Of course, the day will come when my car-pooling responsibilities will be over. That’s when I’ll remember this crazy year and the non-stop girl-talk on the way to school—

and smile.