Friend-oirs pt. 2: Chrissy

Originally posted on Medium. 

Chrissy.

The fall was ending. The air cooled significantly and, being naive college freshman, we didn’t have our winter coats.

People usually equate all-nighters with college and intense workloads. We worked till one or two, but decided to stay up anyway. We were buzzed on our new lives. Sleep wasn’t a necessity.

Chrissy and I sat in our dorm’s common room and talked. Lack of sleep turned into hysteria and hysteria turned into a slew of heart-to-hearts. We kept those going long after our all-nighter, but usually did so in the light of day.

Sunrise was coming and so was fatigue. We stopped at the deli across the street for coffee and hot chocolate. Then, it was open 24 hours a day. I like to remember it as the ‘golden age’ of Deli Mart.

We wrapped frozen fingers around hot cups and let the steam thaw our faces. We had sweatshirts and leather jackets on, trying to maintain a warmer temperature.

Sitting on the half-walls in the courtyard, we spoke. We talked and talked and about what I’m no longer sure. But it meant something. It meant everything.

We were still adjusting and finding our footing as almost-adults. We leaned on each other (figuratively and literally) the entire year, finding comfort and solace in shared experiences mixed with our immense differences.

She’d speak about growing up in Brooklyn and school yard fights, and I’d tell stories of too many beers drank in the back of trucks. Though we grew up so differently, we found ourselves in the same place, sharing the same feelings and anxieties.

Our butts began to freeze as the sun went up. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see much of the sunrise from where we were sitting, but we found meaning in it anyway. We found meaning in everything that year:

The boys who never treated us well enough.

The frat parties in crappy apartments.

The $2 Budweiser tall boys.

The country music I made her fall in love with.

Jean, our favorite security guard, came out of our building to smoke a cigar towards the end of his overnight shift. He was a campus favorite who affectionately referred to me as “my queen.” If not for him, I’d have gotten in a lot more trouble that year.

“What’s poppin?” he’d always ask.

“Everything is everything,” he’d always end with.

We chatted with him as our teeth chattered and eventually we returned indoors. (Author’s note: Jean made t-shirts with “What’s poppin?” on the front and “Everything is everything.”on the back. They were $15, but Chrissy and I dutifully purchased them. I still get asked about the shirt today.)

Chrissy transferred colleges after our first year. She was truly my first best friend at school, and was always up for walking around and talking. Without her, without all the conversations about things I’ve now forgotten, I don’t think I’d have found my footing as seamlessly as I did.

Despite only being separated by a few train rides, we don’t get to see each other often anymore. I’m not very good at keeping in touch and that’s something I’ll always need work on.

We parted ways at 103 and 105, our rooms side-by-side on the penthouse floor of our building. We both had classes soon.

I’ve since forgotten which courses we had, who taught them, or what was taught. But I remember the night we spent, speaking and listening, trying to figure it all out.

We knew we weren’t close to having it together, but we made the best of it. Whether it was long walks, movie nights, drunken dancing, rugby parties, or all-nighters for no reason at all; Chrissy and I talked and laughed through it.

I still haven’t forgotten that sunrise.

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