One very drunken night. The kind where I had no fucking clue where I was and the friends I came with were more fucked up than me. Then, it managed to get worse when one pushed me. Fucked up, mess because I was a cop’s kid and youngest of four who typically didn’t put myself in those situations. Junior year, 2:30 am, East Jesus. Totally screwed, except “Coffee” was there earlier and gave me her pager number. Problem was, we hung out in the same circle but weren’t exactly friends on our own yet.
That horrible night, “Coffee” not only came to pick me up, 45 minutes there and even longer back, she then stayed awake with me for hours. We talked. Cried. Laughed. And the next morning, I woke to breakfast (parents in attendance) and an unspoken bond. It was a mutual understanding between us, where not only deep secrets were shared but the beginning of a very beautiful friendship started that night. I can’t take credit though. It’s because of who she was and still is. “Coffee” was the kind of friend in high school everyone adored. Guys. Girls. Teachers. Parents. No judgement, just lots of love to give, any time anyone needed it. It didn’t matter if it was a complete stranger or a best friend. That first night was, unfortunately, one of many where she came to my rescue. After my junior year, our circle of friends remained the same through college. And I was lucky enough to be her roommate my junior year, my first away. Obviously, our bond became even stronger sharing a college bedroom together for an entire year. But it was much more than typical college roommates. We were family that year. She taught me more about people different than me, art, culture, spirituality, and love, in that one year than I could have ever imagined. More importantly, “Coffee” was there when I lost my best friend; my grandmother passed away and “Coffee” became my rock. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it home for her funeral. Or out of bed those first couple of months. “Coffee” didn’t just love others, unconditionally, but she genuinely cared for people, especially those closest to her. She is by far one of the most selfless people I have ever known. Although my path veered a different course after that year, she was in my wedding, was the first friend to visit me in Hawaii when I lived there, and the only one to remember me every Friday the 13th since high school. She, also, is my very own personal artist of the majority of my tattoos, which mean the world to me. Being soul friends with someone as unique and compassionate as “Coffee” is a truly a gift and I’m still grateful for her unconditional friendship today. Whether it’s a coffee date at EatRite or hanging out on my patio or dinner at a local spot, it doesn’t matter. Weeks or months can pass. But the bond has stayed the same since that night. My junior year, 21 years ago.
Our junior year was also shared with another roommate, whom I’ll refer to as “Hick,” short for Country Hick because she came from a town of only 5,000 compared to the good old STL. Needless to say, “Coffee” and I didn’t know what to expect.
I’m sure those of you who read about my first few soul friends have guessed or even know who they are. Other who don’t, thank you for reading my story. Thank you all for sharing too. Please like or comment. To find out more about “Hick,” stay tuned to…