My dear friend The Musical Man stopped in Birmingham for a visit this weekend. It's been a year since I've seen him; he had just started a new job around Christmas and wasn't able to come home to Alabama for the holidays. I don't remember not knowing The Musical Man, but I do know that I got to know him better in middle school and that he was permanently etched into my heart and my tribe at some point during our high school career. He's made me laugh and he's made me cry, but he's always been such a force of joy and light in my life. Things haven't always been easy for him, but he's made the best of everything and has such a great attitude about life. I wish I could be half as upbeat as he is. After college (with a double major in biochemistry and theater!), he moved to Boston to be with his love. (...who, by the way, we all love as well, and who really does have the best hair ever. But I digress.) I don't see him near as often as I'd like, and it is to my great shame that I haven't visited him in Boston. But being with him and having him around is as natural as breathing, and this can't be said for all old friends. Some disappear from your life, and when they reemerge, you can never quite figure out where they should go or how they fit into your life in the first place.
The Musical Man is one of the puzzle pieces of my life. He fits in perfectly and is quite necessary for completeness. And when he's not here, his absence is keenly felt. There is a hole there, a space, where nothing but he fits. I was so glad to see him this weekend, even if it was for only a few hours. We fall right back into place, and I love him all the more.
He's leaving for Scotland in two months; he'll be there for over a year studying in a theater program. I'm so stinkin' proud of him, and I beam when I think of all he's done, all he's doing, and all he has yet to do. He is truly exceptional, and I can't wait to see what the rest of his life has in store for him. I love you, buddy.
I'll just leave you with this. Tania Kindersley in a post about friendship: "The thing that I adore the most is that nothing has to be explained. There is a shorthand in ancient friendships which is gloriously relaxing. Sentences often do not even need to be finished. Lines are easily read between. Stupid old stories and jokes and memories are resurrected as if we all saw each other yesterday. There is that lovely thing of picking up exactly where you left off, even if it has been months since you last saw each other. The very old friends get you in a way that no one else can, and sometimes I think all I want is to be got."