garrett and mary last day of school

A Letter to My Long Distance Best Friend

While the coronavirus has basically turned every friendship into a long-distance one, leaving for college turned a friendship into one too. My Panera-loving, à la mode best friend has been there for me when we were two miles apart as well as when we are over a thousand miles apart.

It’s crazy to think that we met eight years ago because those memories seem so vague. At the end of every school day in sixth grade, we boarded the school bus, leaving behind the pain and suffering that is middle school life. I still cannot fathom the idea that we managed to shove four people into one bus seat without much difficulty.

I think the 10th grade was when we became a lot closer. We shared every third period that year in Ms. Werner’s hyper geometry class. While she was the one who consumed eight cups of coffee a day, after her class, I think we can both agree we felt like we drank nine. Every morning before school, we would meet in the main cafeteria to frantically compare answers on our homework. Our papers were usually beaten up by erasers and graphite, leaving eraser residue that weakened or even tore up our papers by the end of most mornings. Let’s just say, that class wasn’t in either of our wheelhouses.

For the first half of that year, we sat across the room from each other and became proficient in communicating through sighs and eye rolls. During the second half, we sat in front of the classroom at the same table. Along with the entire classroom, I learned about your “radical” thoughts and aspirations. I see you’re still working on moving out to California and purchasing a Rolls Royce. Let me know how that works out for you.

garrett and mary last day of school

We also spent sophomore year of high school doing goofy things like going to see The Peanuts Movie. Although we were definitely the oldest ones there (with the exception of parents of the children), we were probably the people laughing the hardest. The following summer, we continued our childish activities and played Pokémon GO during our neighborhood-wide walks. A year later, we ditched the Bulbasaur and Eevee to catch a glimpse of the solar eclipse. To this day, when anyone mentions the planet Jupiter, I think of you and mock the lady being interviewed on television during the eclipse, “I think I can see Jupiter!”

After graduating high school, we went off to different colleges over 1,200 miles apart. We FaceTimed and texted pretty frequently to the point where your mind would play tricks on you. I think I was the only person with my color backpack in our high school so from time to time, you’d see that same brilliantly blue backpack at your college and think I magically showed up in Geneva, New York.

In January of our freshman year of college, you trekked down to Tallahassee, Florida to visit me and another friend of ours in Tampa. While the weekend didn’t quite go swimmingly, at least we have the silly Snapchat videos from it! You certainly rose to the occasion that Saturday night by physically running back and forth between my dorm and Bajas at least twice. Maybe you should have continued training for that marathon with Mark Smith.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, you stayed with me in Tallahassee longer than anticipated. I recall one morning I asked you to pull out a specific shirt from my closet because I was late for class. “It’s a Saratoga tee shirt that’s purple or blue or maybe like indi-” “I’M COLORBLIND!” It made me giggle for the duration of my walk to class. I just want to know how you could clearly see the colors on my backpack but not my t-shirt.

You were beloved by my Tallahassee friends who thought you were the kindest soul ever. They obviously didn’t know you as long as I have but at least you had my roommate, Selma, to bond over Grey’s Anatomy while I was in my classes. The adventures you endured in Tallahassee must’ve taught you some valuable lessons like Florida isn’t always scorching hot, the Den has the best food on campus and never rely on others to transport you to the airport.

garrett and mary lake george

Whether it’s kayaking on Lake George or trudging through the brisk winds to eat burritos at Moe’s, I can honestly say I enjoy every outing of ours. Hopefully, this coronavirus conundrum will pass soon so we can get back to our in-person shenanigans!

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