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A Word On Old Friends:

As an only child, I have always gravitated toward people that I felt an instant connection to or with. It’s a little like being struck by lightning; you meet, you talk and it feels like you’ve known each other for a lifetime. When that lightning strikes, it can be magical, and I must have done something right in a former life to have experienced that lightening several times. These connections have led to friendships that run into a fathom's deep ocean. Enter The Angels.

Sean, Jim, Kazim and I have known one another since I was 15. I met them through Sean, who went to my high school and was one of my closest friends, and he showed me the new and exciting world of the two other high schools in our district. We were mostly theater and chorus kids, smarter than was maybe good for us, and hyper aware of the provincialism that was a big part of our 1980s youth in a very white, very suburban, very Catholic corner of the world. We would typically gather at our friend Matthew’s house (in retrospect this made no sense, since his mother retired to bed early and keeping a gathering of teenagers quiet is a pretty Herculean task), snack on junk food, watch movies (“Steel Magnolias” and “Heathers” were recurring favorites), and sit around and shoot the breeze or debate the current events of the day. We made movies together (honorary Angel, Chris Kelly was both writer and director) on a first iteration video camera too, and would film in playgrounds, parking lots and sites around our town. Ultimately, we all left suburban Buffalo for college, and though a few of us took short term stints there as adults, we’ve mostly been away since we graduated.

Time and space matters little when the connection is so strong. We now are known to ourselves and others “in-the-know” as The Angels. We are in touch virtually daily, and have been intimately involved in one another’s lives including divorces, marriages, career upheavals and of course, plotting our world takeover. Jim now lives in Indonesia where he helps to shape their economic policies; Sean is in Paris, where he writes and teaches English language students at the famed University, Science Po; Kazim is a writer of poetry, memoir and prose and chairs the English Department at UCSD. However, we are never too busy to answer questions on hair styles, view important Tik Toks, critique the men I date to determine if they are “Angel-worthy” and share the good, the bad and the ugly of our day. We try to gather at least once a year to an exotic location all together (Barcelona, the South of France, Lake Erie) where we spend a long weekend eating great food, drinking great cocktails and wine, and catching up in person while reminiscing, the lads making sure to tease me as much as possible for as long as we are together. We also get to sneak in one on one visits now and then when work takes us to the same geographical locales. A good friend can listen and be a presence in your life regularly. A ride or die will help you bury the body after midnight and drive the getaway car when called upon to do so. These gentlemen are three of my ride or dies, and in some ways, among the most important friendships of my adult life. They aren’t family by blood, but by choice, and in my experience, that’s the family that matters most.

Here’s to you, Angels! Until we meet again. I vote Palm Springs.



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