Sunday, February 08, 2004

I made my first Baltimore friend today.

That is, outside of work and not someone that I met through my mom and Jack. The other day, I was fumbling with my keys to get in the door and met my neighbor who was coming up the stairs. We'd said our usual greetings and neighborly stuff when we'd passed before, but our schedules were so different that it would literally be months in between our exchanges not to mention sightings. The only proof I had of her existence was the brief whistle of her tea kettle in the morning, since her kitchen window is close to my bedroom window.

So, we started talking and found out that we had a lot in common. I guess there was something in the cards that night that had our exchange bloom from the usual hellos into a full blown conversation. As we spoke, Atticus meowed impatiently at the door as he heard me outside, and through that I learned that she was also a cat owner and the only other apartment in the building that didn't have mice. Coincidence? Don't think so. And since we are the only two apartments on the 2nd floor, that makes our floor mice free. Our building is over 100 years old, and having mice just comes with the territory.

That is, except on our floor.

A couple days later, I found a note from her that had been pushed under my door inviting me to go have coffee, and since I get home late and figured it was too late to call, I pushed a response under her door a few days later to accept. I have to say, that in the day of modern technology, the hand-written note can still be the best form of communication. It's unobtrusive, gives one time to respond, and isn't a hasty message left on a voice mail. I indicated in my response that I was a late sleeper, and on the day we were to go, there was yet another note telling me to knock on her door when I was ready.

We had coffee at a very cool sushi bar/coffee shop on Charles Street that had just opened and was in walking distance of our building. Another example of original architecture put to great use, in a four story, and yes, I said four story restaurant with table service but an atmosphere that invites you to hang out as long as you want. The entire place is open and loft like, with hard wood floors and metal stairways that jut out of the exposed brick walls.

Since my depressive episodes and finding myself in a pergatorial zone of neither here nor there, I've resisted making friends. At the same time, I've wanted to make new friends but was afraid that I wasn't reliable enough to be one. The thing is, that allowing yourself to do so opens up so many doors, including the comfort of knowing that you aren't the only one who feels that they are walking around the peripherals of day to day life. Or, that you are one of many who are searching for answers.

Best, is learning that you actually may have something to offer, after all.

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