Had lunch with Nikki and her family today, since they were eating at Cabots' which is halfway between Walter's house (we were working on POSSE in the morning) and my aunt's house where I'm working for the rest of the day. Nikki is one of my freshmen (who is now a newly-minuted Olin alum), and is this sort of stern managerial force for disciplined stability and sanity in my life (which otherwise utterly lacks it). In exchange, I provide random injections of ridiculous amounts of happy hyperactive energy into hers, and randomness, and... dunno. Fun, perhaps?
Within a few minutes of me sitting down next to her, Nikki turned and signed to me: "You are a puppy." I beamed.
(Some time later:)
"Your happy is very loud."
"Sorry. I will try to be quieter. *dances*"
"Not that kind of loud. It's like Chernobyl, except instead of radiating radioactiveness, it's happy."
I'm not sure when we'll get to hang out again, since we don't know where she's going to work yet, or where she's going to be, and I'm a nomad. (Nikki pointed out that she never really knew when she was going to see me again anyway, and I countered with a "yeah, but you knew I was coming for your graduation at some point.") That's always a little strange, saying goodbye to a good friend and not knowing when you're going to see them again. At least we know it's going to be at some point. Yifan, too - although I think I'll stop by her place in New Jersey on the way to Raleigh at some point, if I make the drive before she goes to UCLA to get her PhD.
Maybe folks with most of their friends in one stable place get to say things like "see you next week." We say "see you around at some point," or "see you online," or just "see you." Dunno when, but "someday" is good enough for us, for the most part.
And you know what? The nice thing about good friends is that you can go several years without seeing each other, or even talking at all - then start arguing again within minutes of getting off the train. (I'm looking at you, Mark Penner.)
I never thought I would have friends like this. I'm glad I do.