Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cosmic Lottery

Tonight I went out with my wonderful friend Meridith, all the way down to Red Hook in Brooklyn. Red Hook is a really fun, up-and-coming neighborhood -- lots of storefront galleries, lots of small restaurants with great wine lists. When I first started hanging out in the city and my mom had just moved to Brooklyn, the understanding was that you just didn't go to Red Hook -- it was where the navy yards were and there were projects, and you just didn't have any reason on earth to walk in that direction. And now, of course, New York and neighborhoods being what they are, I'm not even sure I could afford to live there -- at least not in the style to which I am accustomed. But I can dream -- a neighborhood of artists' studios and waterfront furniture-makers and overpriced antique stores.

We went to a benefit at the Kentler International Drawing Space, of which Meridith is a board member, and then out to dinner at a fine tiny restaurant whose name I cannot remember. I had ragu of lamb over pappardelle with a fabulous glob of lemon ricotta on top, and we shared a kickass bottle of wine. And talked and talked and talked -- she's just back from a three-week fellowship in Rome and glowing with it.

But here's my point: I've known Meridith for, I figured out on my rainy walk home from the train, 24 years this summer. 24 years. My friend Nina, who lives in Hawaii and whom I'm going to see for a few hours on Sunday before she heads up to Boston to see her folks, 31 years. Leslie in Vermont, my sister-in-arms, 31 years come October. Eileen in Colorado, to whom I owe a phone call like nobody's business, 28 years this September. Jane in Brooklyn, 24 years. Dena and Patricia downtown, 23 years. And Sandy, also downtown (hey, call me!), 20.

I totted up all the numbers as I walked home and it made me feel really good. This isn't one of my beloved traits, or anything that I've had any real control over. It's just a blessing from out of the blue: These friends, who have been with me for such a long time. Talking to Meridith over dinner tonight, realizing that no matter how long we go without seeing each other -- and lately it's seemed like I've been dating my girlfriends, we have to take such care allocating time for each other -- we're always still connected by some fine and unbreakable line. And then coming home to my family here, where the ties are newer but still full of promise -- the feeling of being blessed doesn't even begin to cover it. It's like I hit some cosmic lottery.

There are pictures -- good lord, there are SO many pictures. But they're upstairs in boxes and it's late. So let's just say I feel roughly like... this.
And this.

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Blogger Meridith said...

And I was doing the same math on the way home.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are good at this friend thing.

My O&DF (Oldest & Dearest Friend) & I go back to babyhood, & our fathers were friends before that.

And now I know you can be lured down to this neighborhood with the right rewards. Was the restaurant the Good Fork?

11:49 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

This is wonderful, really. Even as a relatively new friend (5 years!) it's easy to see why you are the sort of person one keeps. You, my dear, are a keeper.

6:57 AM  
Blogger Margarita said...

My old ones and I go back decades *and* they live overseas. I don't know how we do it, but even after years of not seeing each other we finally manage to get together, and then you feel like - that picture of Dorrie rolling around in the sun says it all! I don't think distance has much to do with it, I know people live in one city and don't see each other for years either. Distance just makes you more focused and determined to keep it up. I'm glad you're around the corner though :)

11:01 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Very cool.

12:59 PM  

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