I’m not sure how much I shared here about the crappy week I just spent. It involved just about the entire gamut of Murphy’s Law and then some. Next time I schedule a week off work, well… never mind. Let’s just say that there are a few things worse than work stress.
Today I spent the day with an old dear friend whose mother passed away a few days ago. There was no service, just a quiet gathering of close friends and family invited to gather at the Family Home. This dear friend Tom, I met 19 years ago when I was in Art School. Sadly, I can count the times that we’ve managed to get together since then on one hand. The same can be said for the other friends I made during that time. But, by a strange twist of fate, Tom and two others from that part of my life, rekindled some of our old magic. Let me give a little background.
When I was 32 years old, my kids were both in school and my marriage was all but over. It became evident and necessary that I seek an education so that I would be able to provide for myself and them. I enrolled in Art School.
Picture me in a class of about 20 others, starting the same term, who ranged in age anywhere from 17-19 years old. If I remember correctly, only three others beside me were female. Let the games begin…
In the course of our time together, I forged 3 truly great, enduring friendships. How can that be? I was almost 15 years older, and they were, well… boys. Sometimes relationships transcend age and gender. And I have proof. Tom, Greg and John, I’m sure, will attest. I may have played more of a matriarchal role than a peer in the beginning, but that didn’t stop us from partying together or much else. We shared the sweating clear up to deadlines. We shared crazy photography projects (Don’t even ask me about things that transpired in the darkrooms.) We sat together, antsy and uncomfortable (at first) through nude figure-drawing classes. We blew off steam together on weekends and during lunch breaks. We shared and criticized each other’s music. Basically we became the bigger part of each other’s lives for the duration of our time in school. And it left a hella mark on each of us. I could cite so many of the experiences that bonded us, but it would have little meaning for anyone outside of our Circle.
Today is the first time that all four of us have been together since 3 of us graduated in 1989. Imagine an afternoon loosely based on The Big Chill, but set in 2008. (Please tell me you’ve seen it so I don’t have to explain.)
Being with those guys brought back so many memories and good feelings, despite the sad occasion. They’re all grown men now, in their thirties with lives and families and plans of their own. And a little part of me sits back, looking proudly on, knowing that we shared such a precious part of our lives and are all better people for it.
I love you guys and thanks for accepting me into a tight, small, exclusive, Forever Circle.