Today my friend Charlie wrote the loveliest blog post about the day we met, which was one year ago today. Charlie and I met through a mutual Internet friend who knew I was living in Buenos Aires and that Charlie wanted to travel there. We traded emails for a few months until Charlie finally came to Buenos Aires to work on his spectacular novel. During his five months here, we lived together in the same house in San Telmo and had some absolutely fantastic days– lots of coffees, empanadas, twisted funny dark talks over alcohol, an unforgettable trip to Chile. Charlie and I hung out pretty much every day!
I felt so sad when Charlie returned to the U.S. because we spent so much time together and he had quickly became a close friend. But fortunately we still keep in touch through the magic of the Internets, and now he’s living his dream in a cornfield in Illinois, building a ridiculously tiny house on his parents’ farmland and continuing work on his novel. He is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know and I am honored that he considers me a friend.
Read the lovely words he wrote!!
It was one year ago today that I met the famous Lauren! I wrote about it here if you’d like to, like me, relive the experience. Sigh.
It’s strange. While it does feel ages ago and continents away, it feels as though it’s still happening. That somewhere in a universe I’m hailing a taxi, asking for _ _ _ Carlos Calvo, and gazing through the taxi windows as we race up packed streets and down narrower ones.
It’s a sunny day and the old buildings of San Telmo bounce the sun back to me off their worn stones. Nervous, I approach the wrought-iron door, re-checking the address, eyes darting up and down the street. I ring the bell and suddenly a voice shouts down from above. It’s a youthful looking woman–hair pulled back in a girlish ponytail–talking to me while she leans out from the terrace. I think she even says my name. She disappears in an energetic flash and soon she’s ushering me inside, receiving me with a huge hug and a kiss. This is Fer, the owner of the house.
The house seems busy, shower running in the bathroom, people talking and laughing through a closed door, more voices from the kitchen where the cleaning lady chats as she cleans.
Again, another shout from above and I just barely catch Lauren leaning out from the upstairs hallway. She races down the stairs and we quickly hug. We’d been emailing for a couple of months and now we are meeting for the first time. Lauren greets me warmly, and my nervousness falls away as I realize that somehow this is my long lost big sister. Soon Fer is giving me a tour in rapid fire español. I immediately look to Lauren for help (something that, I’m sure, became a daily occurrence for the next four months). I briefly meet Juli as she emerges from the steam of the bathroom (it won’t be until Lauren’s Thanksgiving that I properly meet everyone).
And in that still happening universe Lauren and I have an entirely too caffeinated lunch, laughing, talking, and cracking crass jokes. Later, standing on a busy corner in the now overcast light, we continue with our espresso-ed chat until a guy across the street sticks his tongue out at Lauren. She returns with her own tongue and I wonder what strange custom this is. It’s Johannes, the past and future housemate (but it won’t be until later when the Germans come back).
It’s a wonderful, welcoming day. Clearly, any anxieties about meeting an “internet friend” are gone as quickly as a dulce de leche smothered dessert.
Back in this universe, Lauren has already celebrated one year in that magical, crazy city (on September 6th). She’s working, teaching, living, and writing! And most likely speaking fluently by now. She’s my hero, my big sister (wait, I’m the older one?), and my inspiration.
While none of us–Lauren, Juli, Leentje, Lucky, Johannes, Jordan, Joanna, Max, Peter, Old Dan and Little Ann, and a few others I can no longer remember, sorry Spanish girl–reside on Carlos Calvo anymore, all of us still live in that crazy house with too much Malbec (thanks, Lucky!) in some other–and much more fantastical–universe.
All the best, mi amiga (mis amigos).