Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Ex is my best friend

It was one of those bone chillingly cold, windy, yet damp winter evenings on the waterfront here in NYC that made me wonder why I dragged myself away from the fireplace to go to this party. A friend was throwing a big dinner on his boat and asked me twice that week to come and I couldn't refuse. So, braving gale force winds, I climbed over two old tugboats to get to his schooner which was rafted outboard on the frozen river. I was so not into this that I almost turned around just before I opened the deck hatch, but I was already here and decided to make the best of it.

As I stepped inside, the sounds of conversations and laughter drifted up from the main cabin and I found myself feeling oddly nervous about joining the crowd. I finally climbed down the companionway and looking out over the heads of about thirty people I didn't know, I again almost turned around and left. My eye was drawn to this woman sitting across the room who was facing away from me talking to a man. All I could see was the back of her head but it looked very familiar.Then, for no good reason she turned around and stared directly at me and instantly we both broke into a mutual grin.

Have you ever been someplace alone, a crowded venue where you didn't think you would meet anyone you knew? Then suddenly you spot your best friend over the throng at the same time they spot you, and you both immediately are happy and relieved to have found each other and you breathe a sigh of contented relief. Well, that's exactly what occurred in that moment. We couldn't stop beaming at each other and waving hello. I pantomimed my intentions to quickly greet our host, make fast party rounds, doing the old grip and grin routine with colleagues and then would come get her. She mimed back ok and I was off.

The party was suddenly fun and when I worked my way through the group towards her, she automatically made room on the sofa for me, edging over some guy that was schmoozing her up and we gave each other our undivided attention. Nobody else in the room existed but us. We immediately fell into that close, comfortable conversation that is reserved only for special friends that one has known forever.About fifteen minutes passed where we caught up with each others lives, discussing the little things that only good friends want to know or will listen to, when at the same time, we both stopped in mid-sentence and stared at each other with dropped jaws. We had come to the mutual realization that neither of us had any idea who the other person was. Well, we spent some time confirming this, both laughing at ourselves and yet still not quite believing it to be true. We soon left the party together so we could go somewhere quiet and catch up with our old/new friendship.

I've know Kazia for almost six years since that unusual but wonderful evening. We dated for several years and have been split romantically for several more, but from the moment we locked eyes, there was no doubt that we had always been, and always would be best friends. We just hadn't met each other yet.


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