Let me tell you ’bout my bestie because she’s not likely to tell you about herself. My oldest friend on the earth. She has seen me through two marriages, a host of boyfriends, the raising of two very distinct boys, the whole of my teaching career; through two graduate degrees, the burial of both of my parents, my competitive running streak as well as a couple of knee surgeries. She is the best of the best and we haven’t lived in the same city since 1987; not on the same continent since 1991. See, I told you she’s really my bestie.
Cliche but true – we were college roommates. She was the lanky hurdler/ long jumper from Maine and I was the Black girl from Cleveland – both of us proud to have been accepted into our first choice Ivy League school. We corresponded in that first summer before arriving on campus, exchanged pictures and background stories. I still have those letters – hand written on legal pad paper in legible but not overly neat print. By the time we actually met in person, we had a good idea of what we were getting into. No clicking needed, we were a successful match.
It’s funny to remember that first year, how we hung out and found a reasonably good mix of friends. We ran track together, worked several shifts on the dish line together, shared a unique sense of humor. She was lack, I was luster. While we had some upsets in there too, when we reunited to share a dorm room overlooking the main green our senior year, it was time extremely well spent.
After graduation she moved to pursue her dream of working in public television and I was bent on getting back to my long distance boyfriend in Vienna. Now we’re these middle aged ladies in our 50s who love a good long zoom chat to catch up and cackle. She’s the person I called to join me at the funeral when each of my parents passed away. She’s seen me fall in love, out of love, call it quits and call it a day, counseled me through “I do” and then “I don’t”. It has taken me half a lifetime but by now I know, she has always been my great love, my bestie, Cath.