Since Wind and Fire weren't paying attention to me anymore, I made comments behind me to the woman with the Moroccan husband. She appreciated them.
We had a mock FDA meeting. I played Dr. Whey Tootox, Pharmacology Reviewer.
I should note that one of our instructors is named Drusilla.
After the course was over, I took the bus into Cambridge and up to Harvard Square, where I met Craig. I had not seen Craig in a decade or so; he had gone to our rival high school, and we had become friends after running into each otherand competing against each otherat Academic Decathlon and UIL tournaments. But we kept in touch online (in better touch than some of the people I actually went to high school with). We were both wearing very strongly colored shirts, he in blue and I in red, which made it easy for us to spot each other across Mass Ave. Also, he looked exactly the same.
We went to Grendel's Den because they had half-price food between 5:30 and 7, but only if you sat inside, we learned after taking a seat outside, but it was so nice out that we didn't mind. We chatted over spinach, artichoke, and crab dip, reminiscing over Ac Dec and UIL. Craig was surprised he still remembered some of those experiences.
"Because that was our heyday," I said. "Back when we were good at stuff."
Now, without academic competitions to validate ourselves, we merely had our jobs. Craig was jealous of his high school theatre friends who were now touring in actual theatre productions and co-starring in 17 Again (according to his friend, Michelle Trachtenberg is a bitch and Zac Efron is very nice). Life as an actuary was not as exciting, but that's what happens when you major in math. We talked about corporate culture and Facebook and Glee and Comic-Con and various other things. I really liked Craig, and I found myself wishing we'd been better friends back in the day.
Grendel's Den had a very wide selection of tasty-looking food, but I settled on the Peruvian quinoa stew with Cajun-spiced shrimp and some garlic bread with a tarted-up marinara. The quinoa stew was topped with vegetables and cheese, and I ate it all. Oh, quinoa, you magical grain. The garlic bread and sauce were good as well. Oh, and I drank some bizarre French almond soda that was basically soda water with almond syrup. It was interesting.
Craig was now really into food and was addicted to four- and five-star meals that cost a hundred dollars. He had been skeptical, but the first time he had had one, he had thought it was totally worth it, the food was so amazing.
After dinner, we headed across the street so Craig could get his boba fix. The tables had lots of graffiti on them.
"'Neal likes boys,'" I read.
"Good for him!" chirped Craig. "I wonder if he's hot." For Craig, like Wallace Wells, is totally awesome and gay.
I took a picture of in front of the Harvard Square Station, and Craig left to catch So You Think You Can Dance. I explored Harvard Yard for a bit on his recommendation, hoping to become smarter. There were grass and trees and sidewalks and buildings. It...looked like a college. I continued down Mass Ave back to Central Square.
I found Toscanini's, where none of you will remember that I had a chance meeting with Felicia, a friend of mine from Rice. This time, we were going to meet there on purpose. She was running late, so I read a book until she arrived. When she did, we played the "What are you doing here?" game until she asked, "Would you like some ice cream?" WOULD I?!
Since I had once combined lemon gelato and chocolate gelato to surprisingly tasty effect, I definitely wanted the lemon chocolate, which tasted as you'd expect: chocolate with a tart zing! But when Felicia uncovered the existence of the half-scoop, I searched for another flavor to try; I did not want two scoops of ice cream, but I did want more than one flavor if possible. I got Vienna finger cookie ice cream as well. Topped with almonds! And, like Anjali, Felicia bought my ice cream. She didn't even have Indianness to blame! She was just being nice. It seemed my habit of buying visiting friends local desserts was coming back around, karma-style.
As we ate ice cream (Felicia got maple sour cream wtf and malted vanilla), we discussed our respective jobs, as we grown-ups are wont to do these days. Being old is weird. We also talked books. Felicia had apparently just become aware of the existence of Neil Gaiman a month or so ago and was now on a Gaiman kick. I gave her my Gaiman recommendations, which threatened to turn into a very long string of comics recommendations. When she asked for movie recommendations, I told her about (500) Days of Summer.
Ah, but lest I forget, the first thing Felicia asked was whether I was still writing. Uh. Er. I wrote two pages last year? Yeah, I suck.
Ah, but lest I forget something else, I was quite surprised and pleased to hear "Farewell Transmission" by Songs: Ohia in an ice cream shop.
"You have a map on your shirt," I commented. She did. I needed to take a picture of it, even though it would essentially be a picture of her breasts. While you will have to wait to see Felicia's breasts, you will not have to wait to see why I wanted to take a picture of her shirt...because wouldn't you know it, it was a Threadless shirt.
We talked and talked, and when there was a lull in the conversation, Felicia just looked at me with a serene look on her face. Serenity appeared to be her default state.
Since she had to be at work early, we took a picture goodbye, but then we discovered we were both taking the same bus back into Boston, so we weren't saying goodbye just yet. Instead, we were being confounded by an Irish pub called Asgard. We didn't know how that worked. Then we were confounded by some weekly female empowerment seminar that only allowed six women but didn't mandate regular attendance. Finally, we were confounded by the ambiguous relationship between Oliver Smoot of "The Harvard Bridge is 365 smoots and one ear long" fame and the Smoot-Hawley Tariff of "I don't actually know what it is but I remember the name" fame.
I like meeting up with old friends, but it only makes me miss them more.