youth, time, coffee

Bee's picture
Wed, 08/31/2011 - 03:54 -- Bee

The other day a huge mystery package arrived in the mail, and when I opened it I found to my enormous delight coffee! But not just any coffee - excellent high quality espresso beans from all the best roasters in the NW! So much coffee from so many places I am officially spoiled!

Sharing will be difficult, but I will persevere. Mmm, coffee. . . .

The package was from Lindsey, who we met during her recent student exchange here in London, and Leslie, a friend of youth.

In fact I first met Leslie when she was a barista at the Smithfield, a cafe in downtown Olympia. It was the haunt of the punks, poseurs, and intimidatingly hip (a ridiculous observation to make of a small town scene now that I live in London, but there you go) and most definitely not my kind of place. I preferred the Asterisk, because they had gummy bears and my kid could be bribed to sit still long enough for me to actually drink the coffee instead of chasing her around the block while balancing a leaking paper cup.

But my housemates and KTS loved the Smithfield so I spent enough time there to acquire a working familiarity with the menu (the muffins were from Costco, people. Costco.) and the staff. Time and life have drawn a curtain across most of my Olympia experiences, even those including future rock stars, but I do remember Leslie - because she seemed so genuine, in a sea of youthful pretensions.

Still, when we all graduated and moved on I didn't keep track of her or, honestly, anyone at all. It was a surprise over the years to see that some of the people I knew (or should have known) in that tiny college town are amongst my dearest friends.

Leslie is definitely in that category. We met unexpectedly years later in Seattle, and it has been a delight to become acquainted as adults. Recently she came to visit and it was an honour to show her around my new home, neighbourhood, and city.

Could it really be possible that twenty years have passed, and that through all manner of mayhem and change we not only know each other but honestly like each other? That is amazing. When we met in 1991 we were just larvae - squirming and waiting to hatch - but look at us now!