Day 13 of this Thank-fullness shifts my attention to Duane. I met Duane when I was 13 and he was 12 - we share the same birthday. We were friends in middle school and then I went to high school and we didn't see each other much that first year. We had some great traditions - the night before school started, we would often walk around outside, enjoying the last evenings of summer. One year, we just sat out on the lawn, talking for the longest time. When he came to the same high school I did and joined the drama department, the deal was sealed.
When I graduated from high school, I didn't see him for a couple of years - or maybe one year. I remember seeing him the same day I had seen "Children of a Lesser God" - Roby and I went to Duane and Melissa's New Year's Eve party. Duane and I hadn't seen each other since I had graduated and we were both thrilled to see one another - we holed up in a room and chatted for about 3 hours. Upon leaving the room, a drama girl with a crush on him confronted me - why had I stolen her boyfriend? It was comical.
Then Duane went to school at PSU for a brief period and I saw him periodically but I was pretty wrapped up in Roby and other stuff. Duane left and went to school in Tacoma and I didn't hear from him for a long time. I'm not even sure how we got back in touch later, but we did. For a couple of years, we were very close (back in 1990-1991ish). We went through a big Madonna phase one year - the "Truth or Dare" year. It didn't help that we were broke...we saw the movie about 50 times that summer for $1 at the cheap movie theatres. We recited lines and tried to figure out how to be more direct and assertive.
We had a falling out before he left town and when Roby died, I hoped to patch things up. It didn't happen. I saw him once about 6 months after Roby had died and it was painful and awkward. Now, I just hope he is all right. I had heard that he was working near the World Trade Center on 9/11 but I also heard that he was ok. I hope so.
I thank Duane for sharing lots of laughs, lots of music, lots of conversation. I wish it hadn't ended the way it did, but sometimes life happens. I know that my friendship with him shaped me and helped me. I learned a ton from him - in good ways and in not-so-fun ways. All in all, though, I wouldn't change it.
Duane- I hope that you are able to achieve all that you are capable of achieving. Your talent is huge and I know that you have what it takes to get to the top. Thank you for all that you gave me. Take care, old friend. I wish you well.