So, yesterday one of our best friends from college dropped into town on her way up to Boston. Her name’s Katy, and she’s kinda awesome. (And by kinda, I mean really.)
I don’t have a picture from our excurtions yesterday because I am that dope who carries around a camera but never remembers to use it, but here’s a picture of Katy and me at the wedding.
It was amazing to see Katy again. Kyle and I hadn’t gotten to see her since our motherfucking wedding almost three years ago, and I can say with confidence that three years is too fucking long to go without seeing a best friend. It was wonderful to catch up, drink, laugh, and enjoy all the things that we love about her.
But there was something else wonderful about seeing Katy that had less to do with the badassery that is Katy, and more to do with spending time with an old friend.
Over the years, as we move throughout the world, we are molded and altered by our circumstances and experiences. So it’s inevitable that I’ve changed in the three years since we graduated. But I like to think that the essence of me, the part of me that people (seem to) enjoy being around, is essentially the same. Or at least similar. Enough so that hanging out with Katy felt comfortable and fun, like it used to. (At any rate at no point did she jump up and scream, “WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?!” But maybe she was just being polite.) So I can comfortably say that the me that Katy enjoys being around is more or less the same me that my Saratoga friends enjoys being around.
But what is entirely different is the lens through which each of these groups of friends sees me. Katy knows me in the context of our college world in that period of our lives. She knows me in a world of classes, dive bars, dark theatres and apartment living rooms with plastic red cups. It’s in that setting and that circumstance that we met and became friends. There’s an entire cast of characters and an endless web of relationships that weave within and around our relationship. When I look at her, I not only see Katy, I see the history of our friendship and the world in which it was built. I can only imagine she sees the same when she looks at me.
Our Saratoga friends, however, see something different when they look at me. Our Saratoga friends know us in a setting of Irish pubs, dusty race tracks and barbecues in the backyard. The world in which we met is a completely different one, the people we know are different, and the periods in our lives are different. The Stephanie and Kyle that these people know are the same as the ones that Katy knows, but the background we appear in front of is different because the history behind us is different. And sometimes, it’s fun to play in front of that old background and assume that old history for a while.
Katy shoved off for Boston a few hours ago, and in a couple more we’ll be meeting some Saratoga friends for happy hour. I feel certifiably insanely lucky to have so many friends with so many different histories. They adds complexity and richness to my life that no accomplishment in my career or travel or fantastic shoes can, and I wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything.
(I mean, unless they were really fantastic shoes.)
EPILOGUE: Remember how I said I was going to happy hour? Well, we got all gussied up and went downtown and got to the bar and discovered that we were the first ones there, which was weird considering we were 10 minutes late. So we sit there for about another 15 minutes and all of a sudden Kyle goes, “OOOOh, I know why no one’s here. It’s because happy hour is tomorrow.” Turns out he misread the e-mail. Fail. So we went and got ice cream instead. Which, I guess, makes it a win-win in the end.