Leaving in the fairest of the seasons:
In three weeks, my wonderful friend Laura moves to Columbia, Missouri to begin work on her Ph.D. in biology. I won’t know what to do without her.
Laura and I met when both our mothers forced us to participate in sorority rush the week before our freshman year of college. We were paired randomly as rush roommates, and I looked at the 8 pairs of Converse she’d packed for 5 days of tea and sandwiches and knew this was the beginning of a good thing.
Laura didn’t know her way around town during our freshman year, so she’d just hand me the keys to her Bronco and let me play Ill Communication as loud as I wanted on her CD player. I was kind of bummed when she figured out the main streets.
Laura knows that I’ve had her Bruce McCullouch CD since 1997, but doesn’t ever demand that I return it. I mean, really demand.
Laura once convinced me to prank call her old boyfriend in Denmark during our sophomore year of college. His mother answered, and I have no idea what language she said it in, but what she said was yes, Morton is here, but he’s asleep, and so am I.
Laura came to my New Year’s Eve costume party drinking a Guinness and wearing the head to a lamb costume her mother had made for the church nativity play.
Laura says, “Oh, sweet pea,” when you’re having a bad day.
Laura was a much more dedicated student than I was, and I loved persuading her to skip classes with me. Once I convinced her to skip her Friday morning class to tag along for my haircut. By nightfall, we were in some blues club the next state over.
Laura ate dinner with me at the Subway down the street every Monday night for an entire semester because I thought the sandwich artist looked like Beck.
Laura once told my mother that I was her “bosom friend,” like they say in Anne of Green Gables. I always give her a hard time about it, but I secretly think it’s kind of endearing.
Laura and I sat next to each other during graduation. When the two valedictorians gave their speeches—boys we had both dumped our freshmen year because they were too dull—I turned to her and said, “You’re dating your professor, and my boyfriend hasn’t had a job since January. What the hell were we thinking?”
Laura is not afraid of bugs. In fact, she will come over to your house at 9 am on a Friday morning to dispose of the biggest roach in the world while you cower on the couch in your bathrobe.
Laura and I once spent a weekend of debauchery in Kansas City, maxing out our credit cards, replacing our bloodstreams with alcohol, and waking up in our hotel room with an unknown boy in the bed between us. For the record, everyone was fully clothed, and he was very polite about the whole thing. As we walked him down to the lobby, he turned, cocked his head, and said, “Hey… you guys don’t have British accents today.”
Laura made me a tape just last week that begins with Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations. It ends with Simon and Garfunkel’s Only Living Boy in New York. Needless to say, it’s the best tape ever.
Laura can breakdance. I know I’ve already mentioned this, but it bears repeating. She can also play the cello, flute, piano and bass guitar. She was once in her ex-boyfriend’s Rentals-esque band, but quit because all the songs he wrote were about her.
Laura will come over any night of the week to have a glass of wine and watch Legend or Willow or The Dark Crystal, all of which she owns. This fact alone would qualify her as the coolest person I know.
Laura once accompanied me to a fraternity party in order to find the guy who’d forced an ungentlemanly act upon me. She coaxed him outside where I punched him in the stomach. Twice. Then she sat up with me all night while I cried. Really ugly, red-faced, snotty crying, too. The next day, she gave me a Shel Silverstein card.
You need a friend like Laura.