Long ago, in another life and time, I packed up my belongings, my daughter and my cat and moved to Sacramento, California. My brother had found us an apartment on the edge of a very nice middle class neighborhood. I could afford it because it was next to an active train track!
The area had several advantages. First and foremost, it was safe for the kid. It had an elementary school only two blocks away. She didn't have to cross any busy streets to get there. It had a grocery store two blocks in the other direction. And it had people who were willing to babysit if necessary.
Thirty years ago, this month, that move happened. And thirty years ago this month, I met Joel. He was single, gay and just as terrified as I was. He was a bit younger than me but we hit it off. And we became best friends.
He was part of the infamous "tag team babysitting" team. He was an integral part of our lives. We watched the last episode of MASH together in the Student Union after our torts final. He taught me what a frittata was and how to make it. He helped me be proud of being me.
Then we graduated.
He moved to Los Angeles and I moved to Bakersfield. Our lives took different paths. He practiced civil litigation and then morphed into estate planning and probate. I was a Public Defender.
I hadn't seen him in almost 30 years.
Then I got a call today. "Hey, Giz wanna have lunch?" He was in SLO and wanted to see me. I JUMPED at the chance. And for the next 3 hours we talked and laughed and shared memories and new stories. He is still Joel. He is still my friend.
Joel, I love you. And Garret is pretty cool, too.