Old School (July 20, 2009)

I have been down, and rather avoiding life, since I came back from my Pilates class on Friday and curled up into a fetal position on the couch. The sudden chill in the summer air reflected the emptiness I felt in my own heart, and the two environments definitely fed off each other.

I am willing myself back to life today. I have a very busy workweek ahead, and this afternoon, I am welcoming a dear friend to my home. That would be Theresa, my former college co-hort. What a pair we made at old U. of I. from 1996 to 2000.

T lived in the same dorm as I in the Fall of 1996, FAR, also known as the Florida Avenue Residence Hall. The housing project-like building meant we didn’t have much chance to get acquainted at home, seeing as we lived on different floors. No, we formed our bond instead working at the Wendy’s in Campustown. Sadly, this landmark is no longer present, but I remember it fondly. Not only do I love Wendy’s food, it was also my first real job (not counting babysitting and volunteer work). It felt sort of neat to earn my own way. I was, at the time, paid $4.75 an hour for my work, minimum wage in ’96.

As all freshman years tend to be, mine was a volatile and painful experience. I fell hard for the first time with another guy who worked at Wendy’s, James, a 24 year-old brooding, recovering drug addict. When he broke my heart, as all but me rightly expected, it was Theresa, with her Wiccan practices and black lipstick, who took me under her wing. I am forever grateful.

As the years passed, Theresa and I got an apartment together, got drunk and threw a Chambana legend of a Halloween party. I was there when she fell for her now husband Jake, the birth of her two sons (fine, I wasn’t literally there for that – Boop doesn’t do blood), and she was there when I announced that I’d be flying to India to marry my own soulmate. 13 years of friendship.

I have no idea where the day/evening will take us, but consider yourself on notice Chicago. It is not often that Theresa can step away from her hectic life minus hubby and kids. With Eddie gone as well, we might have a mild version of 30-something Girls Gone Wild, before we wake up with hangovers and remember why people over 20 do not drink Natty Ice.

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