I met beetiger very early in college at Yale, and we were part of a small, tight-knit group of friends. beetiger was my close friend and confidant through four years. She has a tremendous gentleness and kindness about her that I really appreciated. When I say “kindness”, though, I don’t mean the wishy-washy nonconfrontational thing that sometimes passes for kindness; when I was desperately in unrequited love with somebody who was very bad for me, beetiger was the only one of my friends with the guts to tell me that (1) I was being stupid, and (2) this person wasn’t even really a good friend for me. My other friends were good, caring friends, but beetiger was special. We were each other’s sounding board, each other’s shoulder to cry on, and each other’s eager gossip-partner to hear about all the wonderful stuff for four years, and I wish we’d ended up in the same town after graduation; I’d have loved to be able to continue that kind of relationship. (And with luck, we may be able to.)
Did I mention that she’s extremely smart? And has a great sense of humour? And she’s cute? And snuggly? And charming? She’s all those things.
beetiger and I had one of those somewhat ambiguous relationships that I have since become very familiar with: We were close friends who were very cuddly, sometimes kissed, and often used romantic language with each other. We were more than friends, but not lovers. With some people, that hasn’t been entirely comfortable or healthy for me. With beetiger, if my memory is telling me the truth, it was never a problem. It always felt right and comfortable and honest and good. And the kisses, when once in a while they came, were special. I’d have to think carefully over the years, but I’m pretty sure beetiger was only the third person I’d ever kissed passionately1. And boy, it was fun! And you know what? Pretty much everything else about my time with her was fun, too!
I admire beetiger a lot, and I’m really glad to have reconnected to her in the last couple of years, and to have a window on her life again. Wow. It was twenty years ago that I met her. So much in my life has changed in that time, and even more has changed in hers. But I still feel like the same person at heart, and when I saw her again after so many years, she still felt like the wonderful person I knew and loved – the wonderful person I know and love. It’s really heartwarming to feel like her thread still weaves through my life and mine still weaves through hers.
1 passionately, adv. /ˈpæʃ ə nət ˌli/ with tongue.
[More of these are coming, but I probably won’t get a chance to finish them until Friday or Saturday.]