The first time I ever met Bob was in my high school parking lot after a school dance. He walked up to me and tweaked one of my earrings, a little Gumby that I had made myself (and of which I was very proud). “I love your Gumby earrings,” he said. I swooned and fell in love. Alas, it was never meant to be. I should have known better than to fall for a boy whose first words to me were a compliment on my accessories, and instead we became best friends.
The first time I met Laura was at The Berkeley Square at a Three O’Clock show. She was sitting on a bar stool, sipping a cocktail. We were fifteen. “I’ve heard about you,” she said, narrowing her eyes. I backed away a little, nervous. I’d heard about her, too. “Yes,” she said. “Would you like to see my natural hair color?” She bent over and flipped up her white blonde bob, revealing dark blonde roots underneath. She straightened up and smiled. “I only show people I like my real hair,” she said. “So I know we’re going to be friends.” So we were.
And tonight, over three decades later, the three of us toasted our long and dear friendship. The Gumby earrings are long lost and none of us have our natural haircolor anymore, but as much as things have changed, the really important things have remained the same.
Being with them is like being with family. It feels like home.