Today is leap year day and must be the reason for the completely surreal experience of waking up and knowing that a man who I have known for 20 years but never before met was asleep in my guest room.
I will refer you to this entry I wrote about a Canadian pen pal I acquired when I was 18 years old, how we lost touch and magically reconnected via the internet years later and also to this entry where he gives his new baby daughter my first name for her middle name.
Yesterday, while I was at work, I received an email from SBT that said: “coming through Seattle tonight on my way to Vancouver, would like to stop by if you are free.”
I read it 3 times and then I promptly shit my pants.
Excuse me? What did you say? Tonight? Give a girl some notice, why don’t you?
After 20 years, why not meet spontaneously on the fly? I responded: “Of course, come eat dinner with us and stay the night. We are having pork.” 4 hours later, he was at my door.
Opening my front door and seeing my good, old friend in person for the first time ever blew my mind apart. The only way my brain could handle this situation was to translate it as the most ordinary thing in the world: a friend coming over for dinner, and not think of it as the monumental event that it was; something for which I had waited 20 years.
When we began our relationship, I was fresh out of high school and just beginning to figure out my place in the world. SBT was still in high school and living at home and just beginning to figure out what kind of person he was. Now two decades of time has spanned since then, we have lived our lives and are now squarely ensconced in our own versions of domesticity: married, with a mortgage and a child each.
Meeting him was as awkward as meeting anyone for the first time, but that sentiment only lasted one second before feeling like the most natural thing in the world. He was pretty much how I thought he would be, except I got the hand gestures wrong. I tried to take it all in, especially memorizing the space between his teeth (what do you think SBT stands for?).
He stayed for dinner, played with Finn, we chatted mainly about our children and then he went to bed. The morning was so fleeting with only 30 minutes to chat over coffee before I had to run off to work. Something as easy as that, I have to wonder, what took us so long?
Today being leap year day seems a perfect commemoration. I just hope it won’t take another 20 years for us to meet again.