Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Every decade or so…

Until today, I hadn’t seen Jacob – the guy who introduced me to The Police – since I got married eleven years ago. And even that time broke a decade-plus stretch where we hadn’t talked or written. That means I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen him in the past 20 years and still have fingers to spare.

Jake moved into our school district in Hartville when we were in second or third grade, and until his family moved to Roanoke after fourth grade, we were best friends. Carried our Star Wars guys on every trip to each other’s house, played like we were crewers on the Space Cruiser Yamato, rode our bikes through the dirt trails that looped through the fields near his neighborhood, played elementary-school-league basketball (poorly, we admit) on the same team, and saw The Empire Strikes Back for the first time together. Even after he moved to Virginia (and later to Mason, Ohio), we stayed in touch by letter and saw each other about once, maybe twice a year on spring or summer vacations.

Late junior high, I think, we drifted apart, but our parents stayed in touch by Christmas card, which is how, out of the blue, I wound up inviting him to my wedding in 1996. He joined my buddies (several of whom he’d also known in elementary school) and me for a night out, and then there was the day of the backyard wedding and reception. After that, again, we lost touch after maybe one or two e-mails, until this summer, when I wrote that Police essay and it became important to send it to Jacob, and we’ve sent a few notes back-and-forth since.

When it came up that he and his wife were coming to Ohio for Thanksgiving, we made plans to meet at my mom’s house this morning. And even though so much time’s passed, we fell ridiculously easily into conversations – catch-up stuff and recollections and books and life and just, you know, stuff. Arcades and vacation trips and kids and brothers and sisters. I couldn’t get over how crazy it seemed that it was all just so natural – at one point, we were talking about what we like to read, and as Jacob’s telling me about this "out there" kind of author he’s recently discovered, I knew for sure before he said it that he was talking about Murakami.

There’s an awful lot of life between who we were and who we are, but it’s good to find that some important pieces have survived the trip so far.

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November 23, 2007 - Posted by | 1980s, Current Affairs, eighties, Ohio

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