Today I meet up for a dog park jaunt with an old friend. We grew up together in Western NY and now we both reside on the West Coast–he in Seattle, me in Portland. It’s a distance of 173.9 miles. I know this because I Googled it. That’s a distance of 2 hours and 47 minutes. Which is a distance of nothing to a girl who grew up in a fairly rural area where driving to the grocery store took 20+ minutes, where every friend lived 20+ minutes away (in the opposite direction of the grocery store, of course), and driving to the big city of Buffalo took at least 30 minutes in good traffic. My point is that it took time (and a car) to get to everything, and it was just the way it was. I left my little town every day. My hometown is an unincorporated hamlet, so small in fact that I was unable to find the population count online. I do know that the town it borders (and is controlled by) has around 6,000 people in it. So, not nothing, but not a lot either.
Now I live in a bubble–a Portland bubble, where everything I need is within city limits. Granted, the city boasts 594,000 people, but still–I never leave. Which means despite my friend living so close, I sadly never make it to Seattle to visit him. But no matter, today he is in Portland. Thanks to a Bolt Bus and his willingness to travel three hours south of his own bubble, I get to drink tea and catch up with my childhood friend/next door neighbor. He was once like a brother, and thanks to a lovely distance of 173.9 miles and the fact that we both found ourselves on the west coast, he is once again.
Between childhood and adulthood there was a span of time where we lost each other–he’s my little brother’s age, not mine, and then his family moved out of town, and so it goes. So it came as a more-than-pleasant surprise when I met him once again as an adult and rediscovered how very awesome he is. When I rekindled a friendship with him a number of years ago I found him to be so very like-minded, but also sweet, and kind, and interesting. And there’s something to be said about being friends with someone as adults that you knew when they were just barely out of diapers (when you yourself were just barely out of diapers). It’s like coming home.
And he likes dogs. By which I mean to say he loves dogs. So when I asked him if I could bring Ingrid on our tea-date today, he responded, “Do you even need to ask?!” I hold my friends close, but friends who love my dog as much as I do hold a very special place in my heart.
See you soon, friend. Ingrid and I can’t wait.