Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Birthdays & Beginnings

When we moved back to Pittsburgh, my first library job was at a nonprofit where I was technically a cataloguer.  There was a non-degreed subject expert that acted as the primary librarian, and I was part time support staff that did things like manage the serials subscriptions and organize donated collections.  All pretty typical tasks, but one of the quirkier aspects of my job was that the library held the only computer with internet access, and we managed the generic @organization email address.  It's been over a decade, so I don't remember the particulars, but one of the things I remember was printing out emails that were addressed to particular people or departments and physically putting them in mailboxes.  Which is how I learned things like that John in the press room played deck hockey with one of Matt's fraternity brothers; that the super cuddly looking guy on the first floor was really a gun nut; that one of the guys in training was shopping for a motorcycle. 

The library was also on the same hallway as the coffeepot, which is how I met two of the editors, girls who shared an office together farther down the hall.  They'd both poke their heads in on the days I was there, to say good morning, the beginning peace offerings of friendship.  They were both tech savvy enough that I never had to print out emails for them, but they both occasionally would stop by to use the internet terminal.  We'd chat about random things, and one afternoon they asked me to go out to lunch. 

Now, I'm the first person to admit that I watch far too many detective shows, but I'll never forget that first lunch - a trip through the countryside to the back roads of the nearest village, to Dairy Queen.  I honestly had no idea where we were.  And there were brief flashes as we drove through the woods thinking "my god I really don't know either of these people.  They could kill me and dump my body and no one would be the wiser."  Because I'm crazy. 

Regardless of my crazy, I passed the lunch test.  And got invited out for drinks.  Terrified.  So incredibly nervous.  Our first trip to the pub, the pub that became our Winchester.  Matt and I, the editor girls, and one of their husbands.

That was close to fourteen years ago.  Innumerable new jobs for all of us but Matt; the opening and closing of their art gallery, across three locations; new houses, new pets, ringing in the new year together, years of amazing beach vacations; the slow painful death of friendship with one of the girls; the solidifying of friendship with the other. 

Over the years I can say that Amy (yes, another Amy.  She's the AW1 to my AW2) has become one of my dearest friends.  I've learned so many things about her, slowly, surely.  The right way, through friendship.  That she's a sucker for kitties wandering in the woods; that she's got a stack of New Yorkers she'll eventually make her way through; that she looks like the kind of girl who likes fish (quote from a drunken admirer); that you take your chances when she recommends a book to you.  That she's trained herself to drink her coffee black; that she's been married more years than you'd think because I'm pretty sure she bathes in the blood of virgins.  That she truly believes that the Red Viper is a character that's pure of heart; that I can trust her to lead me to the best parts of Chicago; that fig flavored vodka can be her undoing; that her shortbread is amazing.  That she's beautiful and pale and proudly Scottish; that she'll indulge me when I send her Star Wars or Jaws related pins on Pinterest; that she packs more CDs for a road trip than I may even own.  That she's the hub to all of our spokes of friendship and most importantly that I can count on her.  That she's an amazing friend; that today is her birthday. 

So happy birthday Amy.  I'm lucky to have you, and to know that at this point if there were any bodies to be dumped, she'd be around to help me dig the hole.  Happy day lady. 

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