Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the sound of an old friend's voice

(Sometimes it is just the music a soul needs to get up and dance again.)

A week ago today this fair city where I live was graced with the presence of a fine young man, indeed.

I met naB'is nearly three years ago. We were in a foreign language class together. He reached out to me in friendship and turned my world upside down. I fell in love with his eyes. I am convinced that their singular color is directly related to the unique way in which they see. naB'is and I never became very close friends, but we exchanged enough fumbling human poetry to establish a connection that remains intact. We ended up in another class together several months after our first meeting, and from time to time we ran into each other on campus. It was always such a joy to see him, even if it was only for a moment, just long enough to say hello and nice to see you. He used to wear this purple t-shirt, not really all that often, but enough that now, anytime I see a young man with blonde hair and donning a t-shirt of a violet hue, I immediately think of naB'is. It's a reflex.

Last week, naB'is and his best friend were in town. I hadn't seen him in probably a year, at least, and I had never met her. It was wonderfully refreshing to spend the evening with them. We attended a discussion with a handful of other bright souls, shared bits of our stories. We played Apples to Apples (I lost to everyone, including the dummy hand). We had a slumber party at my house. We didn't build a fort. My morning walk to the train station, always solo and sometimes lonely, was last Wednesday transformed by the warm, cheerful company of this delightful pair as they headed out on the next segment of their adventure. How fortunate I am to be able to call them my friends.

Last night I called up a friend of mine whom I haven't seen for over six months. We ended up talking for over two hours. Two hours. I'm not typically super chatty, and even my long phonecalls tend to top out at just under an hour. We talked about graduate schools and bicycles, Cuba and Bolivia, films and foam. Nothing terribly deep, but how lovely it was to hear his voice. This friend and I, we met over three years ago, and we were very close for a time. Now, we live in different states, and we don't see each other anymore. We don't talk very often, either. We go about our own separate lives, but not in ignorance of one another. We remain connected, even if it is on a level perhaps more superficial than I ever wanted to admit before. Whenever one of us happens to pass through the other's neighborhood, we will celebrate a momentary reunion. I will offer him shelter for the night, and I will always be his friend. That has already been decided, long ago, perhaps longer than I even know, and I believe that nothing will change that.

For as long as I can remember, I have always been stubbornly independent. As I grow closer (sometimes unwillingly) to becoming a grown-up, I am learning more and more that I need other people, that I must (often painfully) learn to rely on them. I used to hate to admit it, but now I know that it must be this way. What sense would there be in our being here together, the whole lot of us who (whether we like it or not) share this planet Earth, if we were not meant to be together? not merely to coexist, side-by-side in our separate bubbles, but rather to live together, to share our experiences and not only our globe, to allow our Daseins to overlap and to become entangled one with another, and to stop believing once and for all that they are ours and ours alone.

My friends, I love you. Thank you for being my friends, for being with me in this big, crazy, magical, terrible, glorious place that we are calling home.


the pachuco cross said...

String theory explains it all, those amazing little strings just going crazy with vibrations that really connect everything and explain everything, it really all boils down to the string!


thanks for being one of my strings!

Petra said...

Beautiful. I'm glad you got to see your friends. And we must see each other at some point...I'm thinking January. (Stupid end-of-semester papers!)