Since my daughter is back in Snowstorm City this semester instead of European City Where People Make a Fuss Over Royalty, we are once again having lunch on Fridays. I pick up food on my way to her off-campus apartment, which has an atmosphere not unlike the home she comes from. The big living room has a certain dishevelled look, and there seem to always be people coming and going. Last week, Boy in Black and First Extra walked down from their dorm to join us for lunch, and Film Guy, whom we've known since seventh grade, came downstairs from his apartment just above.
First Extra just transferred to Snowstorm University this fall. He and Boy in Black have been close friends since second grade, but the last time they were in school was sixth grade. In those days, First Extra used to take the bus home with Boy in Black and stay with us until his father picked him up. Boy in Black never said much when he came home from school in those days; he'd just sit right down on the floor and do his homework to get it over with. But First Extra would always be filled with funny stories. He'd even do imitations of Sister Mary Old School.
The boys haven't changed much since then, although they've both gotten considerably taller. Boy in Black still has very little to say about school, while First Extra was bitterly funny relating his encounter with the evil bookstore manager who would not let him return an expensive economics book after he dropped the course. He did a humorous imitation of his wacky English teacher, cutting up words on papers and scattering them about in a ditzy way. "Actually, she reminds me of you, jo(e)," he said. He paused. "Well, except that she's crazy, and I hate her."
Film Guy is a senior now, which means he gets to do a cool internship that involves helping to produce a live television show. My daughter is working on two different magazines as senior editor, and writing for a couple more. She's wondering when she is going to have time for her classes. Boy in Black volunteered that one of the classes he's taking, Physical Chemistry, might not suck.
My daughter lives in a beautiful old mansion that's been divided up into rooms for students. Sunlight pours in the big bay windows as we sit and eat Chinese take-out, or vegan burritos from the place up the street. Her roommates will sometimes appear out of nowhere and join us, everyone relaxed on a Friday afternoon.