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A strange walk through the town I call my home
An old friend, whom I barely knew in college, came by my house a couple of weeks ago.
The visit was sorta out of the blue.... I handn't thought I'd kept in touch with her that well over the years. Maybe dropping her an e-mail once or twice, and sending a rather generic card for the holidays. Over the past nine years I'd recieved maybe two e-mails in reponse.Last month I got a random card from her in the mail, I wondered what was up? Surprised that she'd still had my address, but strangely she'd written me, so I e-mailed her back in thanks and she notes that she's going to be in Boston so I agreed to have dinner with her the following month.
I don't know if any of my friends really remembered her, she was a Chem E, from Berkeley. But one mentiones that she was the bright independent, woman who spoke the memorable speech at our graduation, even quoting Dr Seuss and calling it required reading in out chemical process design course.
But we caught up quickly. We exchanged our memories of Fred Vorhis, the professor who'd read Dr Seuss on the last day of class, I'd told her that he had passed away. I don't think she had been told that, she remarked that she remembered him, and his passing was a sad occurance.
One of my classmates pointed out that this professor may have had a thing
for female blonde coeds
It was quite a long walk from my house. We walked hrough the square, past thenightclubs just letting the crowds in for the evening. We stopped to get ice cream, and continued walking down the avenue, through MIT, stopping along the infinite corridor, across the smoot bridge, down Newbury street, across Copley Sq and into the South End, where the friend she was staying at lived.
The walk gave us a chance to catch up, being single myself I couldn't help but wonder. She mentioned a guy she was seeing, but I didn't pressure her on it. I would have thought she was married by now. But she'd just come to Boston, sort of just out of spring break, I think to look up some old friends, and perhaps to explore Harvard and the city.
She no longer does chemical engineering, even though she had taken six years to graduate, and worked internships with large cemical companies. After graduation she'd gotten a job with a well known pharmaceutical company. A good position considering a lot of us were struggling to get hired after graduation.
She quit that job to take a job in an outdoor science school in the mountains. She worked outside taking kids on hikes, every day. Her face was weathered with age, was it from the work that she'd done, or was it from the tough life she's lived. I wonder just how these nine years since we parted may have changed her. I looked at her, and the wrinkles betrayed her youth, but could I see any pain in her eyes?
I never really knew her those years back in school. To think back, had it not been for a meeting in the hall to check final grades after graduation, I might not have sent her a Christmas card the first year out here in Boston. She would have become lost amidst the names and faces whom I once knew but now were distant.
She'd changed all these years, she was a different person now. At the time, she was a schoolteacher visiting friends over her winter break. It seems so far from the work we did in Chemical engineering, so different, so long agi. Yet we've all changed, her as much as myself. I'm no longer the person I was when I left Berkeley nine years ago. Older, yes... Wiser, maybe...