simply late and simply put, happy birthday j.

J. is a “military brat.” She’s been all over the country and Germany, her family moving from place to place every few years. Somehow she has roots in the mid-west and Virginia. I’m thankful for those Virginia roots, happy they brought her friendship to my door, literally.

Ohio claimed her during undergrad. She was a Buckeye. I guess she still is. I’d like to think she is more a Wahoo, but it’s not my choice who wins out. The Buckeyes could probably beat our Wahoo’s in football any day.

J. now lives in Austin and owns a home there. Her settlement came by way of Miami and Seattle, her traveling childhood brought to the surface in young professionalhood. She’s an audiologist. I think she is resilient.

She lived 3 doors down from me in one of Thomas Jefferson’s original rooms at his University. We had fireplaces, wood floors, a sink inside a closet, and a bathroom we had to walk outside to use. Not exactly an outhouse, but close enough.

We were in grad. school, but J. was only there for one semester. We spent hours chatting in our rooms, at night walking from room to room in our pajamas, outside. When she left it was winter and cold, the freezing temps. had been lifted by fires in our fireplaces. Our individual rooms heated the old fashion way. J. was the best at making a fire that didn’t smoke the room out.

I was sad to see her go and begged her to stay, to change her practicum placement to Virginia, not Kentucky. But her plans were made far before any of us moved to the Range. So she left but came back for Foxfields and a New Year’s party in a cabin in the woods.

J. is a good friend. She is smart, logical, sensible and yet just as neurotic as I am (well maybe not). We talk about how much our lives have mirrored each other’s while she moved from state to state or country to country and I lived in the same pink bedroom for 18 years.

I’m so glad she stayed for that last semester. I’m so glad she couldn’t find an apartment or dorm room for those few months. I’m so glad we are friends. And I love her couch or air mattress in her tiny cross-country apartments. She’s an anchor in my life, a friend who will always be there and never feel that far away no matter the actual distance.

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