A few weeks ago my long-lost friend of mine was in town and spent the day with me. I was house sitting that particular weekend and G knew the address. That day I had just awakened from a nap when G called to inform me that he was heading over my way and that he’d be at the house in thirty minutes. It was an early Saturday afternoon and I hadn’t showered since Thursday and I certainly wasn’t ready to see people. But I ran to the shower and did my quickly did my thang. When G arrived I had been presentable for five minutes-I got ready in record time.
It was the third time I’ve seen him since we reconnected this summer, though we talk on the phone once a week. Anyway, he steps into the foyer and we just stare at each other for a second in disbelief before we hug. G is tall and built like a tank, it’s like being hugged by a grizzly bear. Every time I see or talk to that kid, I can’t believe G is here again. So long that we had lost track of one another and now he’s back for however long. I can’t wrap my head it around yet. But I am feel grateful and lucky to have him back in my life because I know that not all childhood friends reconnect again after years of being apart.
Our day together goes too fast. I introduced him to the goats, the cat and the two dogs that I take care of while I house sit. G was shocked that he loved the goats. How can you not love goats? They’re like big outdoor dogs! I had forgotten his strange sense of humor and how lighthearted he makes me feel. I can tell that he’s been through death and heartbreak (G later confirmed) by the words he uses when he talks. They’re gentle yet decisive and certain things are simply stated. G has such an artistic ability that he draws effortlessly the most intricate landscapes, angels, and body parts (eyes, lips, ears-like Picasso). He seems to have a hint of magic woven into his beautiful soul.
We are at ease with one another during his visit, I feel at home with him around. We both ate lunch and dinner together while talking non stop. I accused him of using me for meals. However, there is something different between us that I hadn’t expected and hadn’t noticed the previous times. We watch each other’s bodies for the way they move. It doesn’t seem like we’re intentionally doing this. I think it’s unintentional curiosity driven observation. Our own physical mannerisms are foreign to one another. He noticed that I eat with my left hand but I write with my right hand. I had to tell him that I’m ambidextrous with a few things. I asked G why looked he at me out of the corners of his eyes when he spoke. Apparently he wasn’t aware that he did that. We learned even more about each other.
While we were cleaning up the lunch mess I caught him few times looking at me with a smile on his face. “What-chya looking at foo?” I said at one point when our eyes met. G laughed and said nothing. About half way through the day a friend (A) texted and inquired about my day. I sent her a selfie photo of G and I in the dinning room. My friend texted back with a “He loves you, you know.” I texted A back asking how she could tell, I’ve told her about G before. The response: “Look at the photo again.” Oh. G has his arm around my shoulders and he’s adoringly staring at me while I’m looking at the camera of my phone. Guess I hadn’t noticed. You can’t love somebody that you are getting to know again. Perhaps you can love the thought of them instead.
While G and I hung out that Saturday we were chatting in the living room. In grade school (first grade to be exact) our parents joked that in twenty years that G and I would still be friends. Well, that was nearly fifteen years ago. They joked that we’d end up together as well.
“Isn’t funny that we’ve reconnected and we’re still friends after all this time?” He says.
“Yeah, it is odd. What are the chances that we lose track of one another and years later we reconnect? Hmm, I do wonder what the chances are actually… This stuff happens to other people that aren’t us, right?” I laugh as I sip ice tea.
“Thinking about the future scares me sometimes. But then I think that my life could be so much worse, and now you’re in it. The future can’t be so bad…” G looks out the window.
I wish G could have stayed longer since the eight hours seemed too short. Goodbyes are the hardest part of caring about someone. Since having him back in my life after the nine year absence, I believe I’m more open to surprises in life. All my life I’ve hated surprises (because they’re usually negative) and anything that throws off my routine. But G‘s reappearance in my life was a positive surprise. And I’m enjoying his sporadic visits and scheduled phone calls. It scares me how fond I am of G already since spring.