These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Old friends

The weekend is just about over and it was hot, humid and rainy. We didn't do anything special at all -- unless you count eating at Denny's.
But this weekend I did get to talk to a couple of friends from Texas that I don't talk to very often - both college friends and both I've known for more than ten years. And both live in the same town, probably separated by no more than five miles, while I their common friend is 1,500 miles away.
Lilly, or Willy as I like to call her, I chatted with Saturday night as it rained.
I met her way back in 1995 or so. I started commuting to college with friends who knew Lilly and her sister Lis.
We became instant friends, it seemed, and have stayed in contact since. Lilly and I would shoot the shit at the Student Union on many occasions while in college, and while I was an English major and she an engineering major, we still found common ground.
She even drove me to Austin once in the fall of 1996 so I could see the Smashing Pumpkins. She didn't attend the show,but only drove me. On another occasion, she drove me so I could see the Phantom of the opera performance and visit and she stayed with friends.
She's always been someone fun to chat with and has unusual and entertaining stories from her times in Minnesota to family tales. She has a unique perspective on life, laughs a lot.
Even though we don't talk often, when we do talk, we pick up where we left off. That's cool.
Tonight I called up my pal Rose. Her I've known a few years longer than Lilly. I met up with Rose in a summer English class. My friend at the time, Ram, and I used to call her Jack (as in Jack Nicholson) because she used to wear prescription sunglasses similar to ones he used to were in the '90s.
We ended up having several other courses together and Ram, Rose and I became quick friends. We used to play jokes on each other - once Ram and I pretended we were pissed at each other and didn't talk for a week on purpose and eventually ended the joke with a pretend fight where I pulled out a fake gun on Ram. She knew the gig was up when she noticed the gun was colored red. Still fun.
We graduated the same year with bachelor's degrees - except I went on for another one and she went into teaching eventually. She's a teacher now in C.C., married and with one child. It's funny to look back now and see the origins of our friendship. It all stared with a summer English class.
So I guess I owe Herrick a salute for teaching the course - despite it being dull. And a high-five to Martha and Ronnie for introducing me to Lilly way back in that crowded Student Union eating area.
And for some reason, while friends have come and gone, these two gals, among a select few (I will write about others as I go along), have stuck around and continue to befriend a freak like me. Strong friendships run deep.


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