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July 29, 2004 - 2:21 pm

OLD FRIEND

There's something about my friend Erik that makes me talk. A lot.

I'm not usually much of a talker because if youíre talking, youíre not listening. And if youíre not listening, youíre not learning anything. Plus, I get frustrated because I donít think in short sentences, and thatís all most people give me time for in a verbal conversation. But not Erik. He nods and gives me time to get out a complete thought, and then he waits for me to follow that thought up with another one.

If it were anyone else I'd say they were just pretending to listen but actually staring at my tits or that they were not really listening at all. But I know heís there because he chimes in at just the right time to recap in a couple of words what took me ten minutes to say. I also know heís staring at my tits.

Maybe it's because we've been friends for twelve years and I feel like I can say anything to him without shocking him. Actually, heís usually the shocker. Erik grew up in the French Quarter of New Orleans with eccentric parents, and he can be a little Ė how shall I say? Ė inflaming at times. Heís difficult for some people to take because he has a super quick wit and he doesnít censor out the gross parts. Heís fun to play verbal volleyball with.

I think I won Erikís heart the first time we met in person, having known of each other by reputation for a while. It was at Auburn in the early '90's and we were both in the Architecture program there, but in different classes on different floors of the building. Very late one winter night at Dudley Hall, I took a break from working in my studio and began wandering around all the floors of the building with my black cape wrapped around my head. Donít ask. It was late and I was strange. I happened by Erikís studio and introduced myself, and immediately we began to lob razor sharp wit at one another. I had a little bit of a cold at the time and my nose needed blowing before I could continue with our fun; but, alas, there was no tissue to be found, so Erik suggested I use the sleeve of his navy blue t-shirt. Naturally, I called his bluff and left a huge gob of slimy snot on the left shoulder of that shirt. What are new friends for? The look on his face was of disbelief, admiration, disgust, and true love all at the same time. We laughed a lot.

We never got together in any romantic way, but that's been okay with both of us all these years. This way, we can give each other relationship advice and kid each other about how great we both are and how we're too good for anyone out there but each other, without that pesky 'reality' stuff ruining our perfect union.

Thanks for listening, Erik.

~Samantha

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