Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Woman power

After years of living about three hours apart from each other, my oldest friend has moved to a town, the closest thing to a city, near by. There really is no comfort like being with an old friend who's known you through many phases of your life and can integrate all the different pieces into just one entity that's worth loving.

This morning, we sat in her new apartment, a loft in a downtown building. The zoning is both commercial and residential. Downstairs is a closed boutique. She's surrounded by city, county and federal courthouses, banks, small bars and cafes. The local news station frequently parks in the alley by her door to film the perp walk from the city courthouse. She can walk to the farmer's market. Beat up, rusted pick up trucks, old Cadillacs adorned with chrome spinners and the SUVs of the lawyers and architects who are making downtown trendy again take up the parking spaces below her front windows. It was as elegant, fun and comfortable as she has always been. It felt just right.

The antique hardwood floors and brick walls were a real change from the cinder block walled dormitory where we first became friends. The walls lined with books were not. Also different were the lines on our faces and the flashes of silver in my hair. (Her blondness does hide that little evidence of aging, damn it!) What hadn't changed was the ease with which we talked. No matter how long we've gone without seeing each other, we've always been able to just pick up as if our last conversation was yesterday.

I remembered one time we got together a few years ago, we were both complaining about the large amounts of weight we'd gained and the toll it was taking on our joints. Life was sitting as heavy on us as our bodies. I was in the middle of care giving, and I'd squeeze a visit to her in between doctor's appointments at Vanderbilt Hospital. She had just changed careers and had opened her own business. Different challenges, different phases of life, both full of responsibility, hopes and fears. Today, about a year after gastric bypass surgery, she was almost a hundred pounds lighter. After a year of dieting, I was over 70 pounds lighter. We're both almost the size we were in college, and we both had a spring in our step as we walked a few blocks to a coffee shop. That's another thing we haven't done together since college. She's selling her business, and I'm looking for a new job and at graduate schools. We're both starting a new phase in life ... again ... knowing we're strong, intelligent, competent, healthy and beautiful. She helped me realize just how broad my options are now, and I feel like I've lost years as well as pounds.

It's hard to accept that we've known each other nearly 30 years. There's no way that much time has passed. It's not possible we haven't known each other forever. The best part is we're seeing each other again tomorrow! Squeeee!

6 Comments:

Anonymous laura said...

Oh Cynthia, there is nothing like a good, old, and dear friend!

Enjoy your time with her!

September 25, 2007 3:05 PM  
Blogger more cows than people said...

yes! fabulous to read... just great!

so... grad schools? may i ask for what course of study?

September 25, 2007 9:18 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I'm happy for you. You could use a little face-to-face support.

Speaking of job hunting, how did it go?

September 25, 2007 11:06 PM  
Blogger Magdalene6127 said...

Oh, how great. This sounds like the best gift. I'm so glad you have one another.

September 26, 2007 6:33 AM  
Blogger gigi said...

There's nothing like a friendship forged in the crucible of youth, is there? It seems that the bonds we form then remain so vital that we continue to seek them out across the span of time and miles. You're lucky to have her so close. Enjoy.

And I want to live in your friend's loft.

September 26, 2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger alphawoman said...

I loved reading this and the joy that just jumped from the page.

September 26, 2007 9:10 PM  

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