Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friendship & Time

I love unplanned visits with old friends. While I assume it wasn't unplanned for him, last Friday my friend Chris told me he was going to be in Philly this week for a conference. Chris is a friend from my college days in Southern Indiana, and he now lives with his wife in Austin, Texas.

Tonight I had the pleasure of bringing him along to the First Person Arts Story Slam (where Pop Culture Casualty served as the guest judge). I was thrilled to show him a window into my Philadelphia life.

Chris and I met during a semester in England, but since we went to the same school back in the States, we were easily able to remain friends upon our return. The following summer we shared a house with several other roommates. The White House, so called because it was the only non-white house on the block, was the first time I had lived on my own away from university housing. That summer, on my 21st birthday, Chris took the day off from work and cooked me a Vietnamese feast.

After graduation, I moved to Portland, Oregon and Chris went to Colorado to be an Americorps VISTA volunteer. We wrote each other real letters. Like Griffin & Sabine. Chris moved back home to Texas and then to NYC to attend Columbia for grad school. When I moved to Boston for my graduate program, Chris had already been living there for several months. Once again, we were in the same city.

Since then, I've moved to Providence and now Philly; Chris went back to NYC and has now made Austin his home. We don't see each other very often. I was a photographer at his wedding three years ago. He was the videographer at mine. I saw him in Austin when I was down there for a conference in February. He is in Philadelphia for a conference now. I love how there are characters in the story of our lives that continuously make entrances and exits. They have an impact on the way the story unfolds, sometimes subtle, but poetic.

I love that I can sit down for a cup of coffee with someone that I have only seen three times in as many years and we can talk about love and education and art and family, and although time has clearly passed, it feels as if we were never apart.

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