I have just had a friend over from the US. I met her during my half-year of high school, and something just clicked. For no apparent reason, we are best friends. We understand each other instantly. We agree about nearly everything we discuss, from what constitutes a sensible drinking law to how much we love the dresses in My Fair Lady. When we sit in the kitchen talking, it feels as if she lives two blocks down and just came over for a quick chat and decided to stay for dinner. We both feel this way, and have several times discussed how odd it is that it feels so normal to be together.
We haven’t actually seen each other since, a year and a half ago or so, I went back to California for a week. Before that – well, we met somewhere in the first semester of freshman year. We had French together (and Geography), and French was the last class of the day, and somehow we ended up walking home together every day. Neither of us remembers how we started talking, nor do we remember a time before we knew each other. We just remember the street corner where our ways parted. We would stand there talking – then lean on the fence of somebody’s garden – then just sit on the sidewalk – and talk, and talk, and talk. We talked for over two hours on more than one occasion. I don’t even remember what we talked about. Everything and nothing, I expect – that’s what you talk about with friends. Things that matter, things that don’t matter, and things that are somewhere in between.
She came over on Monday night. This week is my spring break, so I’ve had time to show her the city. Well, I say I showed her the city – that’s technically true, as I knew where we were going and she didn’t really, but the truth is I was as much a tourist as she was. I’m not a person who gets out much – as in literally outside – unless someone makes me, so I hadn’t seen a lot of the sights and museums that we saw in years. Some things I hadn’t seen at all. It was great to get to know my own city like this. I only hope I’ll be able to continue doing so when she leaves.
One of the museums we went to was Thorvaldsens Museum, which is a museum of sculptures, all of them done by a man named Bertel Thorvaldsen who was a very good professional sculptor in the early 1800s. It’s a very small museum, but we spent hours going through it. You see, at one point one of us looked at a statue and said, “I like him. He looks nice.” The other agreed. We sketched out his entire personality, and in no time we were doing this for every interesting statue we came across. We even managed to find Draco Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, and Peter, Susan, Lucy and possibly Edmund Pevensie.
We watched movies, we listened to music, we made chocolate-chip cookies. I took her to school, which I hope she found interesting. I introduced her to my Mao-friends and they all got along famously. I was so proud of my friends – they are so good at welcoming people; I’ve never seen them deliberately exclude anyone, and I know they never will. I know they’d rather pull people into the fun than keep them out of it. It makes me feel fortunate and proud, and I get all warm and fuzzy inside.
And now – in an hour – I’m going to get on a bus which will take me to Stockholm with the rest of my school’s choir and a school choir from Iceland. It’s going to take all night. From there we will take a ferry to Estonia, where we will meet with another Danish choir and an Estonian one. We shall all perform at a church and (I think) at an open square, not to mention performances in Stockholm and on the ferry there and back. We only come back on Sunday.
I’m all packed, but a bit tired. Or worn out. Or somewhere in between. I need to get a few of my thoughts out, which is why I’m writing this. I haven’t even written to Belle – sorry, Belle. I’ll write when I have more space in my head, I promise. It probably won’t be until Monday, though.
I also need to go. Fantastic. I’m off, then. Be back soon.