The summer I went on Prozac, Amy was the only thing that kept me from weeping uncontrollably at what was easily the most depressing job to ever decorate my resume. We graded proficiency essays at a long, gray table in an office park for nine dollars an hour. I was home from college that summer to see my long distance Florida boyfriend, and Amy was planning a trip back to Russia to see her Afghan refugee boyfriend whom I was sure was a mobster.
We sat side by side under fluorescent lights and giggled as we read five paragraph essays about why Justin Timberlake would give the most inspiring speech in the middle school auditorium. We frequently got shushed and were eventually separated.
Ten years later, I am home in Cincinnati raising my two little boys and Amy is on her third assignment with the Foreign Service, living in northern Mexico, reading visa applications.
At the end of the day, I am covered in pee, spaghetti sauce and bubble solution. At the end of the day, I worry that I have nothing to say to my friend Amy who travels the world and experiences a life far outside the tiny chaos of my four walls.
And yet, somehow, we connect. The long distance eventually extinguished the flame of the Florida boyfriend and the Afghan refugee mobster, but somehow in the hard back chairs of the sterile, gray office park, Amy and I ignited a friendship that consistently pulls us back together from our far distant corners of the world. Somehow, Amy and I continue to sit together, year after year, giggling over stories about the absurdity of our ordinary, little days in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Mexico. Not so distant, after all.
Jill VanHimbergen is from Cincinnati, Ohio where she lives with her husband and two boys. You can read more of her writing at Musings on Motherhood.
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