I’ve recently taken on a part-time gig at a good friend’s recently opened law firm. I go into the office a few hours a week and I work from home a few hours a week. It’s pretty great.
This friend of mine, Derek, is awesome. I’ve always been a huge fan of his and knew he would go far and be successful. In college, we were thick as thieves until he moved away for law school (I begged him to go to law school in ABQ; he eventually transferred back here). We did everything together. The most meaningful moments for me were just hanging out in his car, listening to music, or making bizarre art in his basement. I once recorded a song at his house called “Freedom Bombs” (this was in 2004-2005 time frame). We still laugh about that. When I was a reporter/news editor for the Daily Lobo, he would come with me on assignments and take pictures. I covered politics and, during the 2004 presidential election, he stayed with me all night in the basement of city hall waiting for the results. One of my favorite memories is when I covered a story about an old war veteran who was running for congress. We went to his home to interview him and sat in his dark kitchen. The interview was great and the guy was really interesting. For the picture, he asked Derek to grab a machete that was on the wall. He wanted it in the photo. You can read the article here, but the photo is no longer online. Darnit. (Orlin Cole died in 2011. I’m glad I got to meet him and I have zero doubt he would have done a better job in congress than 99% of the slackers we’ve elected.)
Then there was the time we tried out for the Real World together (rejected). And the time his mom drove us up to Durango for the day (I love his mom, btw). And the time he went to play bass in the back of a head shop and I sat on a couch with a sketchy ass dude watching Mr. Ed on a black and white tv. Good times.
Derek took this pic of me in Durango. Sometime in 2005.
We lost touch for the most part when I moved to LA. He was busy with law school and I was busy with work and cohabiting with my now husband. After we moved back here, we saw each other a few times. He came to my wedding. We met for a breakfast or two, but he was now a new, VERY busy rookie attorney and I was a newlywed. Crazily enough, he moved into our apartment complex about a year ago. I was pregnant and he felt an instant connection with my unborn baby. He’s now a doting Uncle Derek to Henry.
So when he offered me some work, I couldn’t resist. It’s been great hanging out with him again. Nothing has changed. We still joke around. We still goof off. We spent most of my first day yesterday laughing. I might never get any work done. We’re no longer the carefree kids we used to be, but yet we’re the same. It’s very comforting.
I used to keep a pretty epic MySpace blog. Seriously, it was good. I was just going through it because I knew I had written a few about Derek and I came across one I wrote the day he moved to Boston for law school. Honestly, I didn’t know if I’d ever see him again, so I feel even more lucky to have him back in my life now. Enjoy:
I just said goodbye to you on your front porch. I tried not to cry in front of you because even though I am sad to see you leave, I am excited about your life and this great opportunity. Today when we picked up your rental truck, I could just feel the excitement you felt, and I was genuinely happy for you.
But as soon as I got in my car, I couldn’t help but start to cry. I started to remember all the things that made you become my best friend. Derek and Katy are almost synonymous with each other. I rarely go anywhere without you by my side. I can’t see going into Burt’s without you, even though I know I will have to eventually if I want a social life. But will it be the same? Not even close.
Who else am I going to wander downtown with on a Saturday morning while hungover? Who else am I going to make modern art with while listening to Bright Eyes? Who else is going to make a cd with me and tell me I have a good voice while I’m screaming “freedom bombs” into the mic? Who else is going to have the same faith in me that you do?
You know what’s weird and something I never told you? I knew as soon as I met you that we were going to be best friends. Seriously. You were just so smart and political and amazing…there is a reason you are in my life. You have taught me and shown me things (literally) that I only imagined to be real before. I’m a better person because of you.
I cherished the last few months because I knew you’d be leaving. We would be hanging out (like the 4th of July) and I would just think to myself that I wish that moment wouldn’t end because there would never be one like it again. And I know, I know, it’s not like your dead or anything…but you are moving so far away, and we are grown ups now who have to face reality–things change. It is very likely that I may never see you again. I hope that isn’t the case, but life has taught me this harsh lesson. I’ve said many goodbyes to people with promises of future reunions only to never see them again.
I’m so proud of you Derek, for everything. Your strength and determination are ones to be envied. You know how most people say they are going to do something but then never do? Yeah, that’s not you. You dream big and make it happen. That is so cool to me.
This little letter has gone on long enough and you were never one for sap, so I’m going to end it with something I think you need to hear more in your life: I love you and I will miss you.
You are the best person I know.
So. That sums it up.
If you’re curious as to how he became such a successful lawyer so quickly, you must watch this news video. It’s the best. He got A LOT of business from that interview. (Note: this was the lead story on the 10 o’clock local news. I heart New Mexico).