Today’s assignment in my writing course is to talk about someone interesting I have met this year. Now in my line of work (storytelling and all around charming person) I meet a lot of interesting people and some very interesting people. I also meet a lot of kids who are interesting for their own reasons 🙂
I could talk about someone new and interesting I met this year. However I would rather wax poetic about someone I have known for a long time and got to reconnect with this year. His name is George, and he was one of my first friends. We met in kindergarten and hit it off from day one. He was shy and kind of nerdy, and I was shy and kind of nerdy (still am – well except for the shy part) so got along famously.
We grew up together, and shared all the ups and downs that came along with it. We did things together, we talked about things together, we had adventures together, and we got in trouble together (and never threw the other one under the bus to escape trouble – well mostly never). We fought, made up, and then fought and made up again. We were like brothers and went through all the things brothers go through.
He had a very interesting personality, that at times complimented my own personality and other times challenged it. No matter what wavelength we were on however we always got each other. We were as close as friends could be, and had the vision of us being together forever.
Of course like all things, life sometimes gets in the way. George and I went to different high schools, and while we still saw each other quite a bit, we weren’t joined at the hip as we were in our elementary school days. After that came college and soon after the real world. As we tended to our career paths, the paths that usually led us to each other started to diverge.
George was married in 1996, and his wedding would be the last time I would see him for a long stretch. Soon after marriage, he moved away to Florida. With the internet still in its formative years and Facebook and Skype being years away from creation, there were very limited ways for us to stay in touch. It would have been tough had we not both had lives, but we did which made things more difficult.
The person I used to talk to every day to hear about what was going on, now became someone I only heard about secondhand. His mom would tell my mom something that happened and I would get the information. I learned things both mundane and important, but learned them all from a distance. I learned he had a medical condition, and that he was trying to find his birth parents (George was adopted which had a profound affect on him as we grew up.)
I could have reached out more and he could have as well, but he had things going on and I had things going on and we both let time and space drift on by. This January marked the 19th year we hadn’t seen each other in person. I was taking my wife to Florida for her birthday, and decided to use the opportunity to stage a reunion.
He was as excited as I was, and anxious to see me. Finally the night arrived and we got to go out to dinner with our wives. It was strange being out to dinner as “adults”, but it was also kind of fun. It was amazing how quickly we slipped back into a rhythm and were talking and joking like we always had. It was 19 years gone by, but together at that table it was like no time had passed at all.
George did indeed find his birth parents, and the tale he told that night was more fascinating than anything I heard in a while. It was interesting to hear about his life, but kind of sad that I wasn’t a part of it. He had a different life and different friends and so did I. The thing I realized however is that no matter how much distance is put between us or how separate our lives become, we will forever be connected, because true friends always are!