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Looks like I may get to hang out with an old friend next week, a woman I haven't seen in, oh, must be seven or eight years. I had a tremendous and long-standing crush on her in college (my infatuation years), which eventually mellowed into a friendship. We were in a writing group together, talked a lot about poetry, did a reading or two together, etc. Now she's in California, heading slowly up the state toward a summer gig, thinking about finding a place to live somewhere in the state after that. She'll be checking out Oakland and Berkley next week, and she just happens to be in town on my day off, so we should be able to get lunch or something.

I don't think I've ever gone so long without seeing someone I once felt so close to. We pretty much fell out of touch after college, though we did exchange the occasional e-mail every year or two. I wonder, will it be strange? (Of course, hanging out with her was always rather strange, but usually in a good way.) We're both older, have lived more life, etc. Will we have tons to talk about -- years of stuff to talk about -- or will we find ourselves groping for words, trying to pick up the ragged edges of an old connection, trying to find common ground to start from? I suppose we can always fall back on the "Remember when?" and "Do you ever hear from [whoever] anymore?" games.

I remember back when we only knew each other from being in a class together, and we decided to go out and get some coffee and talk for the first time. We wound up talking about the most banal things -- the quality of my pumpkin muffin, something like that -- and I felt a bit silly about it. We both felt like we should be talking about great things, having a profound conversation. We did have that sort of profound conversation later, a few times, but it didn't happen at first. So I wonder what it will be like this time? Pumpkin muffins, or profundities? I think I'm actually happy with either one. It will be good to see her again.



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