I met him after a Phish concert, not entirely in control of all my senses. While I was at the concert, he had moved into my apartment.
That's right. We met AFTER he moved in. Ha. It's a lovely story to tell. He was the fiancé of one of my good friends from college and was to start working at the company I worked for that week. She was still in Boston tying up loose ends, and he needed a place to stay. I had just bought a house, had the room and as I am wont to do - offered up my place as good as any. I believe strongly you do what you can for the people you love and the people they love. Little did I know that small offer would change my life.
He moved in while I was in the throws of being very ill. There were a couple times he found me just sitting on the kitchen floor of our small shared apartment supposedly packing, but really just crying because everything *hurt* so much. You'd think that would be uncomfortable. Meeting someone for the first time while she's sick. Dealing with her random pain, having to pull off the road so she could be sick in a gas station bathroom. But no. Not for him. He welcomed me in, my problems and quirks and weirdnesses into his life as if they were totally normal. Even that first night, me stumbling in "whispering" WELCOME! DID YOU FIND THE TACOS IN THE FRIDGE?!?! never caused him pause. Not that he ever showed at least. :)
He made me chamomile tea and put up with me an amount of hours only now my husband is reaching. Because not only did he have to share space with me (which, after two months expanded from a one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house, much to our mutual delight); he had to work with me. And not in that crazy just in the same company way, but in that sit-three-feet-from-her-work-on-every-project together way. He made my designs work. He worked magic in my eyes and soon he wasn't just K's fiancé, he was one of my very best friends.
It was he who taught me for the first time that Misty uncensored would still be loved. In a lot of ways those couple years I really found myself, or at least gained the courage to *be* myself. In the safe, unconditional sphere of our friendship I could be who I wanted to be and not be frightened it would go as punished. He seemed to unerringly always understand. And never, ever hesitated to put me in my place when necessary. He rocked. We faced a lot of trouble together, a lot of scary times - but I was never totally scared of them, knowing he was at my side.
And I remember, standing in my doorway two and a half years after that first night, watching his car drive away and feeling my heart break. Thinking of it now still makes my breath catch.
We talk still. Randomly and rarely, but we still talk. Now that we are thousands of miles from where we met, and hundreds of miles from each other. He still refers to me as "kiddo" and I still make him swear to take care of himself and his little family before we hang up. It seems a lifetime ago we shared space and adventures. That I teased him about eatting a bucket o' mashed potatoes as a meal, or when we drove to St. Louis singing to the Rent sountrack at the tops of our lungs.
He's never met Sam, I've never met his son. But I know someday all that will happen. And even though the space between when we do catch up grows exponentially long; I know we will eventually speak and when we do it will be as no time has passed. That's the funny thing, lifetimes and no times pass all at once in our friendship.
And even though we are so far apart nowadays, an email still makes my day. And I still count him as one of my nearest and dearest.
I am so so very lucky.
(Six Years ago. Six!?!?! "Celebrating" our second layoff. We still had one more to go, amazingly enough.)
6 years ago