Becky Says...

May 2005

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Old Friends - May 18

Today is not about anyone I haven't known at least twenty-five years. But it does include someone I know from riding the bus.

Back in the days when I worked at Non-Profit Agency #1, I rode the bus to work most days. NP#1 was in downtown Chapel Hill, and although it had its own small lot, parking was difficult to come by. The bus took me close enough that my walk to the building each day was a pleasant way to get into work mode. I would go by the Post Office and collect our mail, then head to my office. In the afternoons, I used the walk back to the bus stop as part of my way of getting out of work mode.

In those days, the bus route from my apartment complex to downtown was not as short as it is today. It went through several neighborhoods en route, except for a couple of times per day when there were express buses that followed the route used now. Since it used to take a few minutes longer to get where I was going, I used to use the time to crochet. While I was riding that route, I made one stole and part of a clergy stole, and several baby blankets. Probably a few snowflakes, too, but mainly I remember the larger pieces.

All those crocheted things were attention-getters and conversation pieces. That was especially true whenever I was working on something with a tiny crochet hook, like the stole or the clergy stole. And one of the people who made conversation with me about the crocheting was a man who was in medical school at the time. Turned out he lived in the building across from mine, and we soon grew to be good friends.

Over the years he was in school, T. and I had many good times. He was also a musician, so some of our time was spent playing piano and flute duets, as well as some flute and organ work at the church for which he played.

All sorts of adventures happened for us. We got close to each other's friends. We introduced our romantic interests to each other. My mother loved seeing him when she came to visit, and if she happened to call me when he was over here, she'd ask to speak with him, too.

We also did our share of going to movies. In a burst of not knowing why the hell we wanted to see such a thing, we went to see Rambo. There is a scene in that movie in which the main character does sutures on himself. I looked over at T. and said, "Aren't you glad I'm not squeamish?"

T.'s residency was also done in Chapel Hill, so we did still get to spend time with each other, though not as much thanks to his heavy schedule. He gave up the church job, for several years. When he resumed it, I did my one turn at filling in for him there, which was one of the last times I've been a guest organist.

And then he got a job at a hospital too far away to allow him to stay in this area, so he moved. And my mother's illness kept me occupied. So we wound up losing touch, and hadn't talked in a very long while.

Until today. I got home to find a message from him on my answering machine, just saying hello and that he'd love to hear from me. I returned the call, and we had old home week for a few minutes. He said he had realized he had lost touch with too many people who mattered to him, and that he was trying to reestablish contact. It was lovely to get caught up, and we left it that we'd try to get together soon.

I hope we do.

Text © copyright 2000-2005 Becky