Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

20 August 2011

Thanksgiving in August: Caleb

Of all the people I have written about for this series, Caleb is probably the person with whom I have spent the least amount of time. In our relationship, however, this means nothing. As a matter of fact, I can't actually manage to find any photographs of me and Caleb together... the whole thing is quite funny, really. And our whole relationship is a bit of a story wherein both of us hold grudges and neither will back down.

When I met Caleb I obviously thought he was cute and so I made a total ass of myself, an event that I had mercifully forgotten until last Fall when he recounted to me the entire story of the day we met. It came back to me in all its stupidity. This was 2006 and I had just arrived at grad school. I was feeling confident and talkative and brave. Caleb wasn't having any of it. The whole thing is very funny now.

We overlapped at grad school for one year and at that time went to a couple of dance concerts together – Paul Taylor, definitely – and I got Caleb to come to my Oscar party that February. Mostly, though, Caleb was not interested in hanging out with me. He blames Jesus. I do too.

A couple years ago, though, Caleb all of a sudden got back in touch with me and we rekindled our friendship. I have never connected so well and so quickly with someone I knew so little. We started mostly corresponding online and a witty and occasionally profound banter quickly emerged. When I was in New York in the Fall of 2010 for my friend Joe's musical I immediately called Caleb. I wanted to see Pina Bausch's last piece Voll Mond at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and I knew Caleb would want to go. We had the best time. The piece was wonderful, of course, but even more importantly, Caleb and I spent some amazing quality time together. My friend Michael took us to a speakeasy in Brooklyn and we talked until very late in the evening about atheism, the ways of the world, the future, and reasons to keep living. It was one of the best conversations I have had in recent memory.

The best part of all of this is that I re-found this friend of mine who I'd loved for years but with whom I hadn't really shared a deep relationship. Sometimes time plays these tricks on us, I guess, and we are not always in the right place at the right time, and then at other times the world just seems to stop around us and all the moments extend. I make it a point to see Caleb when I am in New York now, and if I get my wish and move there when everything is done here in Florida, I look forward to spending hours and hours with Caleb at the opera and doing other fun things where we disagree with one another vehemently.

I feel so lucky to have this man in my life; he gets me on this very cool level where we often know what one another is thinking. Caleb also has the uncanny ability (weird for a cancer) of remembering many many things and calling me on all of my nonsense. It is something to treasure in a friend, especially with someone as full of hot air as I am. I miss you and love you, buddy. I'll see you in the city, soon.