Layover and Catch Up

Dave and I were friends in high school, both members of the AP Bubble for which Great Things were destined. We did Great Things like after school activities and watched movies between Great THings and then went on to Great Things with the thousands of other people in their respective high school analogs who were also destined for Great Things. We both settled out into the lives that were appropriate for us. He as an investment banker and I as a whatever I was until I became a whatever I am. Dave and I got together once every two years or so when he was visiting family.  I was a 405 lb lump of man during the one time I visited him and he met me at the door while my arm was still partly covered in blood and my pants were ripped. Dave also took the most important picture of my life so far.  The Golden Gate bridge is behind me and I have the tallow pallor of a copse.  I was wearing a baby blue oxford, khaki shorts, and a hair cut appropriate for someone in a mental institution. That photo is in my Dropbox folder labeled BigMe.jpg and I try to keep it around as a reminder of where I was.

Dave, to me, hasn’t changed. He’s still smart, he’s still driven, he’s still slightly nervous to talk about his personal life.  He still moves his forearms in and out when his arms are propped on a table and he is speaking.  My opinion of him has risen over time as I overcame a neverrivalry.  I wonder if he views me as equally unchanging.

We met for breakfast near Carnegie Hall and he talked about lady troubles while I talked about my recent unwinding of romance from my life.  He asked me why nothing ever happened between a friend and I and then asked the question again about another friend.  In both cases I simply smiled the smile I give that reveals nothing of how I feel.  Sometimes it’s a smile that says “I’m happy” other times “I hate you” other times “I forget your name”.  Were I to make resolutions, it’d be to stop using that smile except on my enemies.  He asked what I thought of actuarial science and we compared places we liked to go running.  This was the big kid version of the conversations we had before but now they had an added weight.  Our time was more valuable.  The fact that he and I met randomly in New York City, a place home to neither of us, meant something as did the fact that we were both wearing collared shirts and been in bars the night before.  This summer, I will make a good faith effort to meet up with him.

On the train ride back, I chatted with my seatmate who was visiting the US to see her boyfriend for two days before she returned to Germany where her father, an Air Force officer, was stationed.  She would see him next on July 4th.  Her mother was in the armed forces too.  A family of soldiers.

I got back to my house sixteen hours after I thought I would and my dad met me at the door.

Dad: How was where ever you were?
Me: Interesting.
Dad: Good to hear.