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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Old Friends

It's been a few weeks since I've written, and I freely admit to feeling guilty about it. I've toyed with various ideas over the last few days while I piddled away time binge-watching tv series and reading books. Okay, wait a minute, reading books is definitely not piddling away one's time. Last night I had a very vivid dream about someone that I haven't seen or spoken to in close to 25 years. I woke up thinking about this friend, and all of my ideas for blog posts slipped away. I needed to write about my old friend.

In this odd but incredibly realistic dream, I was in a school-type setting. I wasn't in any classrooms, and it must have been a college because of the lovely open campus setting. I walked into a room where a slightly older, very kind gentleman was sitting down on a classroom chair. He was a counselor or advisor of some sort, and I knew that he was very busy. Even so, he spoke to me for a few moments. He advised me to go to a woman named Kris B, with whom he had worked on an award-winning project.

My face broke into a huge smile because I knew her years ago. I told the man that I used to know her, and even went to New York City with her. He smiled as I told him how Kris had given me a wonderful compliment all of those years ago. She told me that among all of her friends, I was the only one who didn't just talk about going on a trip, but actually planned it and went. And we did go, one lovely early September. She was patient with me when we got off to a rocky start and I said I'd just as soon go home. Within hours, I fell in love with the city. And I was patient with her getting-ready-to-go routine that we joked about. 

Anyway, in the dream I was a bit nervous to see Kris because our lives sent us on different paths and I was afraid that she wouldn't want to see me. When I saw her, busy at her work, she embraced me and made me feel welcome. Somehow I can see a real life reunion going exactly that way, and liberally sprinkled with joyful tears.

When I woke, I couldn't stop thinking about my old, dear friend Kris. We met at our banking workplace, both in the teller department. Our friendship developed fairly quickly, as I recall. We obviously got along well or we wouldn't have taken the plunge to go aross the country together. What fun we had on that trip! From the Statue of Liberty to the Hard rock Cafe (at that time only the second HRC in the world!) and Central Park, we saw so many wonderful things. We fell in love with the Carnegie Deli (just recently closed, to my great sadness) and its bickering waiters. It was with Kris that I discovered on our first full day in the city that we were slightly lost - in the Red Light District!

We went to Macy's and Bloomingdale's and Sak's and my favorite, Tiffany. We ate all sorts of wonderful food varying from street fare to dinner in the Crystal Room at Tavern on the Green. We rode buses and subways and acted like the city was ours. In fact, a woman who sounded like she was from New York stopped us to ask for directions to a specific address. Without skipping a beat, I was able to tell her exactly how to get there. We loved it.

My joy and zest for travel were awakened then. I've gone to several states and made it all the way to Budapest and various points in Hungary to find my family. I've seen Vienna, Austria and the incredible city of Paris. If I could, I'd jump on a plane tomorrow. Hey, my passport is still valid! Although it would take a little while for Trent to get one...

A little over a year after our great adventure, she was very supportive of me when I was hospitalized and diagnosed with lupus. Her dear sweet husband Joe, a paramedic, even stopped at the hospital to check on me. When I was feeling a bit better, Kris and I went to see a fairly new movie in the theater, a "chick-flick" called Beaches. In a nutshell, it's the story of two friends over the course of some years. One becomes very ill and dies. We wept profusely all through the movie. After the lights came on Kris told me, "I was sitting here thinking, she looks like Katrina when she was sick." And I told Kris, "I was sitting here thinking this is what I put my friends through." I have never seen the movie again. When I recently saw ads on the television about a made-for-tv remake, I announced that I will not be watching it, and I wondered whether her feelings would be the same.

As I said, life has taken us in separate directions and we drifted apart. I think of Kris from time to time, and very lovingly. If there was any way that I could help her in a time of need, I would do so without hesitation. Could we rekindle a friendship? I don't really know. After all of these years, we're different people now than we were before, so it could never be the same. And that's a good thing, because if it was the same it would mean that neither of us had experienced any life or any growth. But I will cherish the knowledge and memory of having such a wonderful and amazing friend, one that I will always carry in my heart. Thank you, Kris, for all of the love and memories.


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