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Friends

One of the really bad things about college and professional school as I've experienced it has been the way it's made staying in touch with friends so difficult. I've spent time with so many good people, but never, it seems, for very long. As soon as we become friends, we all seem to scatter to opposite ends of the country (or world).

I miss people. I miss the people I used to know as an undergrad at the University of Chicago, and whom I lost touch with when I transferred to Reed. You know who you are--you can't forget losing your keys at a North Side underage dance club on my 21st birthday (some of us were still under 21), driving like a madman on the grass of the midway at 3 am, and running all the way to from Hyde Park to McCormick Place and back. And you, you can't forget dragging me to the weight room in exchange for agreeing to go running with me on the midway, or rigging up our dorm room phone up so we could make free long-distance calls (even though we were all too honest to actually use the power).

I miss the people at NOLS--both courses! On the semester course where we sat around in the dark at Red Rocks outside Las Vegas, playing spades and listening to you screeching Nirvana lyrics over your earphones. Or when we were all freezing in 11 below zero on the Idaho/Wyoming border, digging quinzloos to stay warm and building elaborate kitchens out of snow. I miss the three of you that went off with me without instructors for three days on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, back to the "Bit & Spur panel" with all the pictographs carved into the rock. I miss the people I hung out with after the course in the Noble Hotel, right before we all went our separate ways after three months where all we saw was each other--day after day!

I miss you folks from the leadership course in the Pacific Northwest, doing all that backcountry stuff but finding it hard to resist the call of Starbucks in Squamish, B.C. Some wilderness freaks we were!

I miss my friends from Alaska. Hanging out at the fire pit, back before they made the crew at Lynx wear dumb uniforms and got rid of the fire pit so that the tourists wouldn't be able to tell they were in Alaska and not Disney World. You remember that yahoo trip to the Brooks Range, where we left that bottle of Kahlua on the Dalton Highway at Atigun Pass? These pictures might jog your memory.)

At Reed, I remember taking little driving trips to Astoria and other places on the coast. I miss that. I miss playing poker in the basement. Rawls was sometimes mentioned, but usually we just goofed off and tried to win our hands.

I miss my friends from medical school, whom I never got to rotate with, but hey, control over our schedules the last two years was not something that any of us had much of. You in Colorado and Oregon and the West--I don't plan on losing touch. And you, out in Vermont, in Philadelphia, Ann Arbor (wow!), Nebraska, Virginia, etc. --sheesh, now you know why I tend to lose track of people. Write to me, you goofballs! Some of your programs don't list your email, and I can't find you on Google. The ball is in your court!

And I miss the gang from Tattered Cover -- that was a great year for me because I got to hang out with people like you. I'm talking about the bookstore folks: I don't think I had so much relaxed good times since Alaska. I'm also talking about the people from the coffee bar in LoDo. You know who you are, F.! You were witty and merciless, and I wish we'd had the chance to hang out more.

Now I'm in law school, and I'm fortunate enough to have made a lot of new friends. But I'm already feeling us peel apart again. We'll all be off to different parts of the country this summer; we're all busy with our own things during the year, and we don't hardly see enough of each other. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate you, though. I've been lucky enough to have done some cool things, but I've been even luckier to have done them all with great people.