Friday, August 27, 2004

To Know is to Be Known

It's peculiar. No matter how many times I've flown in and out of Midway Airport in the past three years, I still feel like I'm in a weird new place every time I'm there. I know Nashville's airport well enough by now, and thanks to numerous trips or necessary bus stop layovers, I'm well acquainted with General Mitchell in Milwaukee and the great big hub that is O'Hare. I actually have rather distinct memories of breakfast at one particular O'Hare McDonalds. It's like it calls to me: Eat a breakfast sandwich, you know you want one, add on some hashbrowns! Yes, being in airports means McDonalds breakfasts, Chili's dinner, Cinnabon desserts and a Starbucks latte (soy of course) to wash it all down. Basically, being in the airport means sucking it up and kissing the ring of the don that is corporate America.

Last night I actually got a little handle on Midway, though. Well, I remembered where the doors were to get out-- hey, it's an important thing to remember, right? Otherwise I'd still be there! Any way, I found the doors and as they automatically opened in front of me I could feel the wet blanket that is Midwest August air envelope my lungs and smother my flesh in a mere instant. Perhaps I've been in the South too long. I'd forgotten how incredibly humid it is up here in late summer. Instead of being simply next to Lake Michigan, one feels more like they're slowing walking at the bottom of it. All. The. Time.

Moving on. One of my very bestest friends in the world picked me up and we stayed up talking for an hour or two (drive included). She had to work this morning, so she slept on the futon and I had the bed. It was weird to not share the same room with her-- seeing as how we shared a dorm room one year and have fallen asleep talking even on a single bed before. But she didn't want to wake me (she's a dear), so she slept on the futon. It poured last night, alleviating some of the humidity-- but there are more storms to come. I suppose I've pulled this routine a number of times now. Coming in Thursday night and having LJ's place all to myself while she's at work on Friday before coming home and hanging out. It doesn't seem unnatural to be alone in her place-- and this is the third place of hers in which I've pulled this trick.

I love how much we know each other. Just as one can assume my refridgerator will echo from the click of the light turning on when you open the door, I know that LJ will always have food-- more than likely of the organic variety. It's also a given that when LJ comes to visit me, we will make at least one trip to the grocery store to pick up supplies to make meals for the weekend. No matter where we are, we usually have pancakes at least once, with peanut butter and syrup (you can try to fight it, I did for years, but it's actually really, really good). AND I know that somewhere LJ has a stashed soda reserve, too-- which is perfect since I've cut back on my coffee intake but am still a fiend for caffeine. What I didn't expect was Diet Pepsi Twist-- usually she's more of a Diet Coke or Diet Cherry Coke girl.

This is a perfect example of why I love my beautiful friends, even though LJ isn't in the picture below. We know each other and understand each other-- and yet offer each other twists in our daily routines. We can be open with our weaknesses as well as our triumphs. In short, my friends aren't just beautiful on the outside. As a matter of fact, it's what's inside that makes me treasure them most. To quote an amazing movie that I recommend everyone rush out to see:

You know that point in your life when you realize the house you grew up in isn't really your home anymore? That idea of home is gone. Maybe that's all family really is. A group of people who miss the same imaginary place. ~ Andrew Largeman in Garden State

My friends are my family. We all miss the same places and have the same experiences. The imaginary places that we miss, however, are in the company of each other. In having shared experiences, we've not only shared our lives, we've shared our souls-- that's what makes us friends. That's what makes us family. That's what makes it beautiful.