Imagine my excitement today when the phone rang while I was en route to the grocery store and I saw it was him.
I met him the summer of 1992. I was 17 years old, entering my senior year. He was 16, soon-to-be a junior. We were thrown together on a bus trip from Colorado to New York. A handful of juniors and seniors - all of us from the state of Colorado.
However, there were only three of us from the Big Mile High City. Most were from rural small towns. He was one of the small towners; kids who led a more country-style of life. Kids who slung insults of a farm life slant. One of the 'city girls' (I use this term loosely here... the more appropriate term would be white trash, but that word was not in my lexicon at the time) was described as the Purple Holstein. You see, she was a larger girl and had purchase a purple and white tie dyed Hard Rock Cafe knockoff short set in Washington D.C.; the nickname came immediately when the purple and white short set was first worn and subsequently became her favorite outfit on our trip. Any one of the rural kids would squeal 'Purple Holstein' and there would be an uproar of laughter from the group. I would laugh along because I figured it had to be about the outfit because as a true girl of perfectly manicured suburbia, I had no clue what a Holstein actually was.
Our time in Washington D.C. is when I have my first vivid memories of Alexander and I forging what would become our invincible friendship. Alexander has been mentioned here before, my bestest gay friend ever. We were at Union Station and we decided to have a bit of sushi at the food court. I was had eaten sushi before and was the ring leader in the order as Alexander had an adventurous spirit like my own and wanted to expand his culinary tastes. I pointed out that the wasabi was hot. That would lead to Alexander keeping the remaining wasabi, telling one of the big, bully-esque cow kids the green stuff was yummy 'so put a whole bunch in your mouth' in front of the group, only to watch the kid turn red with the flaming sensation known only as wasabi.
As the Purple Holstein joke progressed and I remained in the dark, I asked Alexander while we were on the bus, what was it about the joke that caused such laughter to erupt with two little words. Shock and dismay arose as Alexander stated, "You don't know what a Holstein is?" He then had to share with those around us that I was not privy to the knowledge of this mysterious Holstein thing. He imparted that a Holstein is in fact a cow... yes, I am a city girl! Cows were typically known to me in technical terms such as hamburgers and steaks. I never spent my precious teenage time pondering the different types of cows before they were steak-on-my-plate. Cows are cows are cows.
From that moment forward I could wholeheartedly giggle with the true knowledge of what exactly the Purple Holstein was. I do believe the poor girl was completely oblivious the entire time - thank goodness.
But all these years later, Alexander and I are still bestest friends. He is one of the very few people I can be completely candid with about anything and everything. I hold nothing back from him and he has often expressed the same of me.
Seventeen year ago, a choice to take an exam and give a five minute speech to a bunch of old folks, turned into a bus trip across the country with a handful of kids. Those two weeks gave me one of my very bestest friends, gay or otherwise.