Have I ever told you about Eric? Oh Eric, one of my very best friends. He is the male version of me, except full of surprises. Eric is the most wonderful boy in the entire world to me -- we have more fun than I can even describe and sometimes when I'm with him, I laugh so hard, I simply have to scream, because I cannot laugh fast enough to get everything out. I love this boy.
The feelings were not always mutual, apparently. Having grown up in the same church, Eric and I have literally known each other our entire lives. We did plays together at the Civic and co-MCed the Senior Banquet for our Youth Group and spent four years causing trouble in the back row of Sunday school. For some reason, though, we never hung out outside of those activities. Finally, the summer after we graduated, I roped him into going to dinner with me and we stayed at Applebees until it closed that night, lying in the booths because we were laughing so hard. As we walked to our cars, practically gasping for breath, I said, "Why have we never done this before?" and he just kept laughing and said, "Well, I really couldn't stand you!"
And so the truth came out. I don't know what happened that changed his mind, but despite the shady beginning, Eric and I became fast friends. I love everything about him, except for the fact that he goes to school in New Jersey, or, the Dirty Jerz as we have come to call it. Consequently, I don't get to see him often. I don't love that at all. After six long months, though, I drove to Detroit to pick him up at the airport on Thursday and the scene that ensued was priceless. I pulled up to the curb, screamed his name, ran into his arms, and caused quite a commotion in general. My heart was full in that moment. It was the most platonically romantic experience I think I've ever had, if that makes any sense.
Unfortunately, he's only home for a short little bit, and I feel bad for his poor mother, because I inadvertently monopolize his time. We had the drive home, which was fun [despite the fact that I accidentally sideswiped a construction barrel and lost the passenger-side mirror on my dad's car -- not important in light of the fact that I was reunited with my long lost friend, right? Right...] and I didn't take him home until 2:30 in the morning. Whoops. I shared him on Friday, though...I didn't see him at all on Friday, I just talked to him on the phone 37 times. No big deal.
Saturday, however, was different. Eric had the audacity to call me at 10:00 AM, which in Carly-time is painfully early. I obviously didn't answer, because the last time I answered the phone when Eric called me while I was sleeping, he said nothing except how I sounded like death for a solid 10 minutes. No thanks. THEN the jerkface called the house phone and recruited my mother to wake me up, which she was only too happy to do. Rude.
Forty-five minutes later I pulled into his driveway and he answered the door, practically beaming. "Follow me," he said as way of greeting. I followed him through his house, into his garage and he turned around. "Have you ever been kayaking?" he asked me.
"Uh...no." I said. His smile grew.
"Well," he said, "This is Boris!" He pointed at a blue kayak hanging from hooks in the ceiling, introducing me to the day's activity.
Before I really knew what was happening, we had loaded the kayak into my parents' van and driven to Austin Lake in Portage. I took off my shoes without really thinking about where I was, only to step in something brown and mushy. "ERIC!" I screamed, "I JUST STEPPED IN DOG POOP!!"
He started to laugh and said, "Actually, it's probably a goose..."
Have I mentioned how much I hate birds? Yeah.
Eric showed me the basics of kayaking [it is as simple as it looks] and then put me in Boris. Kayaking really isn't difficult, it's just tricky to find your balance in the beginning. Eric just stood on the shore, wheezing at my attempts to control myself and paddle around in front of him. A group of men stood on a dock near us and stared at me, unsure of whether or not I was amusing or pathetic. I wasn't sure either, to be honest.
I felt bad hogging Boris, so I made Eric try to sit on him with me. Yeah, that worked REALLY WELL. He effectively soaked his pants and nearly sunk the one person kayak in three feet of water. While this doesn't sound inherently hilarious, trust me when I say that it was.
Anyway, we paddled around for a while until we were bored with Boris, and then we went to lunch at El Jimador, where we made a list of the movies that we needed to watch this summer and started to plan a trip to India. Some things that I love about Eric: he loves movies, traveling, and ethnic foods almost as much as I do. It's wonderful. Also, he tolerates my addiction to musicals, which is helpful. We also made tentative plans to hit up New York City herself when I fly out to the Dirty Jerz in August. Now THAT will be an adventure.
Do you know how when you're on a diet, the first week is always the hardest? It's like, all you can think about is how much you want chocolate or cheese or buttery popcorn, but you can't have any of it? But then, after a little while, you're used to not eating it, so it's easier to stop obsessing? That's how I felt when I said goodbye to my Eric today. He flew back to the Jerz and even though I'll see him in a month and a half, it still sucks. I miss him more today than I did a week ago.
And so, dear friend, thank you for coming home. Next time let's chronicle our adventures with pictures. Let's go to the zoo and Saffron and the Rave and the beach and play on the farm and see a show at the Civic and kayak with Boris again. I miss you. I'll see you soon, but never soon enough.