At some point in life, some friends become old friends. It’s not really based on time. It’s not about how many days, months, years have passed since you first met, or about the times you have had dinner or gone to yoga or shared a book. It’s more about the thickness of the bond. It should be slow and viscous like molasses, and it should sparkly in the sun and be deep and dark and full of knowing at the bottom. Sometimes you need lots of dinners and late night chats and swim meets to grow a thick bond. Sometimes you need much less, just a few text messages and late night escapades and some shared experiences.
Many of my college friends are old friends now. K is one like that. We spent lots of time making our bond big and thick and real and full of love. It grew during late nights at Pitzer college, while we ate spaghetti could only be described as “soooo spicey” in the dining hall, and during swimming winter training (I don’t think we’ll ever be in such shape again. We literally swam all day for weeks).
And so K, lovingly called Bebe K because she was just such a goof in college and a year younger than the rest of us, was really an amazing person to spend the weekend with. She came up from Seattle. We walked all over Vancouver. She practiced her natural medicine back-cracking techniques on me. We got foot massages and ate out a lot. Bebe K knows a lot. She’s finishing up med school (woohoo!) and she’s pretty much a rockstar, and she kinda already speaks the breast cancer-well, the medical- language.
It was really, really good to sink into the old friend bond and settle in there for a weekend. It’s easier to breathe there, when you’re sharing space with such an old friend. We can talk about cancer and not-cancer in the same sentence, and it doesn’t matter. There are old memories, and new ones to make. There’s a sense of all being well, the world being right, when you get to snuggle into those spaces and decide to stay home and drink cider and back-crack and gossip late into the night instead of going out to see flamenco. It’s gloriously comfortable. She can ask, “Are you scared?” And I can answer “Yes,” and we can talk about something else, and come back to that. Or not. It’s easy. And its lovely. And its exactly what I needed this weekend.