Today is my friend Kristin's birthday. She's 27.
We met in the fall of 1999, when I moved into an apartment in the U district of Seattle. The building was a little run-down, with appliances with the look and performance of the 1970s. Each apartment had six rooms, and being a half block from the university, they rented out the rooms individually, to mostly students. My rent was $450 or so, I think, which included utilities. Anyway. Kristin moved in soon after I did, though she wasn't a student, she was just a young person who worked in an office downtown.
We hit it off pretty well right away, and hung out at home, watching tv and eating junk food. We played Boggle nearly every night and cried when Doyle died on Angel. We complained about Nora, our Hungarian roommate who said that Americans are stupid. We complained about her boyfriend Scott, a frat boy who crashed at our apartment all the time. Poor Kristin had to share a wall with their room. Glad it wasn't me!
We had a view of the frat house next door. Since we were on the fourth and top floor of our building, we could see down into a bedroom on the second floor of the frat house. We watched the boys hang out and play on the computer. Kristin used to throw candy and cookies from our window to see if it would attract their attention. It never did! They had no idea we were always spying on them. Ha.
A couple times, we snuck into the house; the front door was open and we took some cereal from their living room.
One night, the frat boys finally noticed us. We were throwing things at their window again, and for once I gave it a try. Our latest weapons were a stockpile of Chupa Chups lollipops. I lobbed one at the window...and it hit the window and broke it. Oops. We ended up chatting from our respective windows, the frat boys and us. They mooned us and we flashed them. Awhile later, we went over there and toured the house and got to know the boys we'd been spying on.
There were also some cute boys in the apartment below us. I don't remember how we met them, but there were two Irish boys and a French guy, and a few Americans too. Oh, those Irish boys were so adorable! We both had crushes on them. Later we found out the French guy had a thing for Kristin, and they had a little pretend fling.
One of our favorite things to do was go to Wizards of the Coast, order nacho fries, as we called them, and "iced spiced chider", and play Boggle. We were total nerds and it was awesome.
We also used to go hang out at the QFC in the University Village shopping center. It was open all night, and had a cafe area with tables and a fireplace. There were always interesting people hanging out there. I remember three girls one night, all wearing the same outfit. Another night these two high school boys insisted that we were lesbian librarians, of all the random things. The store had a good day-old bakery shelf, and we could amuse ourselves with the store directory signs. "I see you have some baby supplies; where do you supply the babies?" and other such giggly, twenty-year-old humor.
After I moved out, back home with my mom, and she moved into another apartment in the U District, and I was 21, we frequented Dante's, a bar in the district. We played foosball with boys, flirted, and drank fruity cocktails. When we didn't need to have alcohol, we would go to the Ram in the Village, always ending with the Mile-High Mud Pie. We always fought over the cookie crust on the bottom.
I'd drop her off at her building, but we'd sit in the car for sometimes an hour or more, still talking and giggling. We would tape record our stupid conversations and take weird pictures.
I'd visit her at her office in the Smith Tower, right downtown, and we'd hang out at her reception desk and then go out to lunch or out to dinner.
One February, we went to Las Vegas together. We played some video slot machines and visited other casinos and flirted with cute boys.
When I went away to AmeriCorps in early 2002, we talked on the phone once or twice a week, catching up on things. When she moved to New York in mid 2002, we kept in touch and I visited her a handful of times. We played Boggle at her place, and went out to bars in Brooklyn or Manhattan.
I moved to New York last June. We talked sometimes, and hung out a few times, not as much as we used to, but that's okay.
In February, she moved to Boston, which she'd been talking about for a few years. The week before she left, we met up at an Irish pub in Woodside. We had some food and drinks and took a few silly pictures and it was fun, like the old days.
I haven't heard from her since then.
I've left voicemails and sent a couple emails, but no response.
Six years of friendship, and apparently it was worth nothing.
Happy Birthday, Kristin.