One of the first posts I wrote on this blog… and the first truly personal post… was Marvin and I…, basically my tale of regret and understanding of the difficulties in making and keeping friends as an adult. I had not seen Marvin for almost six years at the time I wrote that, and was quite unsure as to whether or not I would see him again any time soon.
Oddly enough, I wrote that post two days before his birthday and mentioned it on Facebook when I wished him a happy birthday (I know… so personal… f’ing Facebook). I had no idea whether or not he read it or not… but I did know he got the message.
Fast forward to a week and a half ago, Saturday the 12th… and I get a message on FB that he would be arriving in San Francisco that night and passing through Marin, where I live, the next day. Better than that however, he was wondering if I would be interested in meeting him, his wife and five year old son at the Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park for a day of geeking out and reconnecting. I don’t believe I have the vocabulary necessary to describe the feeling I had. I was beside myself with this bizarre form of joy and happiness… giddy, yet worried at the same time. Would he be different… am I so different now that we may not connect in the same way… would it be awkward… or would it be like no time has passed? Regardless… I was so happy I was bouncing off the walls.
I called him up… we talked for a while, it was nice. We agreed to meet when the Academy opened and I offered to pick him up at the airport, forgetting that he is a grown man with a family who would be traveling around the state for a week… he didn’t need a ride. I just wanted to see him that much more and that much faster.
The next morning I woke up a bit too early… still a few hours before it even opened… but I was pacing like a caged tiger. What had started as one of my first weekends with zero plans, and the hope of getting some writing done… cleaning the house… reading a bit… turned into a day focused on one thing…. seeing my old friend.
We made it there a few minutes late… but didn’t think that would matter… it didn’t. When we arrived I didn’t know where he was and we just started circling… I felt wonderfully distracted in trying to find him, realizing I was leaving Mrs. Blahg and my Blahgettes in the dust as I was focused on one thing… finding Marvin in this sea of humanity. After a while we connected via phone (he was in the rain forest… couldn’t get a signal) and met down in the aquarium… horribly fitting for the pair of us.
When he first saw me, he looked a bit shocked. I’ve gained about forty pounds, a chest and shoulders since I last saw him… and he looked virtually unchanged. And immediately, one thing was clear…. whatever has happened to either one of us, or both over the years, had not diminished my love for this man one iota. Perhaps he was expecting a more spastic and animated me from many years back… I don’t know… but I do believe he felt the same seeing me. It was quite frankly, lovely.
It was great to see Masako again… even better to meet his son and to see my daughters, especially the daughter born 36 hours prior to his son, playing so well and getting along so well. My youngest even made him a little present before we left which I believe helped that adorable five year old boy feel a bit more relaxed and suddenly, it was like Marvin and I…
We spent a few hours roaming around the Academy… ate a nice lunch there… talking, talking and talking… briefly about work… mostly about our kids… almost nothing about the past, other than mentions of some of our shared wonderful experiences… and about three minutes devoted to talking about work. At one point we talked about this blog… but only in the how and why I started it, and we never mentioned that early post about he and I.
It was a wonderful day… and when it was time for my brood to take off all I could muster was telling him how wonderful it was to see him again. He made a comment about how guys like us mean quite a bit more when we say that… and I believe I know what he meant… there aren’t too many words to describe exactly how wonderful it was to spend time with someone you love… and for a rare moment, I was at a complete loss for words and did my best to fight back the tears that were (and writing this… are) welling up in my eyes.
It truly was a wonderful day…
Grateful for having a friend,
Cornelius J. Blahg