“You keep laughing at me,” she said, because I did. She was chuckling herself.
She had stories to tell, and I was glad to listen. She’d managed to pay for our coffee, as my female friends tended to do somehow, and there we sat - indoors in Adirondack chairs, tall coffee cups just short of spilling over. We’d last happened upon each other in the True Love Coffeehouse, not long before it evaporated. Even before then, it had been a while.
Kelly (her pseudonym for this post) and I had been friends in high school, and behold, we still were. She had lived in interesting, unforeseen ways since I last knew her well, and I struggled not to compare. I imagine myself to be an extraordinarily boring guy, when it comes right down to it, so I was more than content to listen. And as she told her stories, I laughed.
It always annoyed me in English class when irony was broken down and defined as juxtaposition: when expectation and reality are far removed from each other. But with Kelly and me, this was exactly the case. Our lives are completely dissimilar. The fact that we’re friends at all kind of baffles me, but I love it.
So, I laughed. And thankfully, she didn’t seem to mind. I hope she actually didn’t.
When she asked me what I’d been up to, I was fairly embarrassed to describe my life for the past couple of years. Whereas she has been working in politics, making contacts and advancing her career, I’ve been… well, certainly not doing that. Only recently have I found full time work, and that through a full-on conspiracy of the Holy Spirit. No kidding. The circumstances surrounding my employment are miraculous in their timing.
We talked about the times. About the various choices and circumstances that lead so many of our generation back to their parents’ houses (as I myself have done). About politics and economics. Briefly, about elephant tattoos. And we talked about old friends we had and hadn’t seen. More stories there, some wonderful, some downright depressing.
Eventually, we said goodbye for the evening. I waited for her to pull out of the narrow parking lot before I backed out of my space, still smiling. It had been a while since I had sat down and had a cup of coffee with an old friend, let alone Kelly. For all the nostalgia, the evening felt somehow new.
I worked an eight-hour day for the first time in a long time today. And I saw a dear friend I hadn’t caught up with in years.
There is a momentum shift at work in my life. I feel in plainly now. And I love it.
Praise God! who makes living worthwhile. Amen.