Day 22 honors my dear friend Kevin.
The first time I saw Kevin, we didn't even know each other. It was a few days before school started when I was in the 7th grade. I was going in to get my hair cut and he was coming out - after his first and probably only perm. I didn't know him at that moment, but when I saw him in school, I remembered having seen him there.
He was a year older than I was and he was in choir and sang in the talent show.
My junior year in high school, I met him when Jeffa and I were doing interviews for "A Circle of Hope". I knew he was in theatre because some of the women on the newspaper staff had been in a show with him the year prior. Kevin was one of the most welcoming people in the drama department. As Jeffa and I continued to go to the work parties, Kevin was very supportive. I particularly remember closing night of "A Circle of Hope"...I had attended most of the performances and after the last night, I burst into tears and sobbed for a long time. People were milling around the drama department after the show - no one really wanted to call it over. I was out on the steps outside of the choir hall and Kevin came out and found me there, put his arm around my shoulder and showed the most amazing kindness.
Of course, I developed a huge crush on him - which I didn't tell him or anyone else until it was nearly over. I was horrified to have a crush on anyone! Mostly, I just loved to go to rehearsals and watch him act. I had ample opportunities since he was the lead in the next production, "Charley's Aunt" and was chosen to play Frederick, the lead in the spring musical, "The Pirates of Penzance". I loved listening to him sing. Once, Duane told me he could fall in love when he heard someone sing...I agree with him. For me, music stirs memories in a way that nothing else can...when it is the person you are remembering who is singing, well, there is nothing like it.
Anyway, I digress.
Kevin eventually took Journalism in high school and we hung out at cast parties and work parties, but I always looked up to him. When he went away to college, I thought my heart would break. I wasn't in the throes of crushing, but I thought he was the cat's meow. He was intelligent and outspoken, well read. I loved that he loved musicals and music. We wrote off and on while he was away at college and I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that was probably how we started to develop our adult relationship. When Kevin came home, sometimes we would see him, sometimes not. When he graduated from college, I was either finishing up the interpreter training program or had just finished. I remember that he had a job at some bank and would call me in the afternoons and we would chat. We did that for a LONG time.
When Roby was in the hospital, Kevin came to get me one night and took me to his house to watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and have some dinner and a break. I don't remember much about that night other than lying in his bed, hearing the Vince Giraldi Trio's Christmas music and knowing that Kevin would take care of me. I fell fast asleep and didn't see a bit of the show. He was instrumental in the Mission: Impossible Dog Caper where I snuck Roby's pug into the hospital room - worried all the while that I would be sent to hospital prison for sneaking in a dog. When Roby died, Kevin was very good to me.
Happier times include the invention of BookFest - our annual book-buying spree. I have started a BookFest Blog, but I haven't caught up on it completely yet. Here is the BookFest story as I wrote it for the blog:
"BookFest began in the Fall of 1995 when I was weeks away from going back to school. Kevin and I went to Powell's City of Books. We were complaining about our financial situation and wished that we could just live in Powell's or buy all their books. In those few moments, our grand plan was born.
The first year, we saved $10 a month from September to September with the goal of spending it all GUILT-FREE, in one fell swoop. The following September, we went to Powell's and spend HOURS searching for the perfect BookFest books. We closed the place down and began our ritual of going to Kevin's house to unveil our books to the other. It didn't take long for us to move the spending from September to June to give us the summer to read our books.
Our ritual always includes planning the date, going to Powell's. We set up meeting times in the Annie Hughes coffee shop to determine how much time we need. We are NOT ALLOWED TO LOOK AT THE OTHER PERSON'S BOOKS...although we sometimes get a peek. The first trip was around 6 hours long, but we don't need that long anymore. When we are done, we go to China Jade in Morgan's Alley (unless they are closed...they are closed on Sundays) and have dinner. After that, we go to Kevin's for the unveiling.
We have little contests: Most Attractive Book Cover, Closest to the Dollar Amount without Going Over, Most Unlikely Purchase, Highest Volume for the Dollar Amount...
We tried going to the West Side Powell's and we tried going to Coastal Bookstores, but it just didn't work for us, so we decided that BookFest was really a Powell's adventure.
People always want to come with us on our annual adventure. This is not allowed. This is the one day every year that Kevin and I devote to each other. But don't despair - this does not mean that you can't do a BookFest of your own."
Kevin and I share a love of books, movies, musicals, Indian and Thai food...we went to NYC together to hang out with the Interpreting for the Theatre crew and had a terrific time - saw "Les Miserables" together there.
We have spirited debates about movies and musicals both and laugh a lot together. He and I share a love of "Yentl".
Kevin introduced me to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" my FAVORITE show. (Thank you for that, Kevin!)
He was also the first person I actually know who found and started reading my blog. I was a little nervous when he told me, but I am glad to know he is there, reading. Feels like a way we can stay in touch, even if we don't talk often.
Kevin, I want to thank you for your friendship over all these years. I wish I could explain to you how much it means to me that we are still friends after all this time. I love that we have become these adult human beings and we allow each other that growth. You are an amazing person and friend and I love you. Thank you for all that you give and do for me. I am so grateful for you.