It wasn’t until I was in the 11th grade that I finally understood the true meaning of friendship. It was Christmas time and my friends and I gathered around the lunch table to exchange gifts. My best friend Mary gave me two gifts. To tell you the truth, I don’t remember what the first gift was even though I’m sure it was something that I was very grateful to receive. I do remember the second.
She gave me a box of bandaids for Christmas.
It’s not a secret that I’m notorious for being klutzy. Back in study hall one day, I was in a rush to staple my bio labs but my trusty mini stapler decided to be not so trusty that day. I had 5 minutes before the bell rang and my teacher was so strict about having your labs stapled together. I saw that it was jammed up so I reached in under the stapler barrel and all of a sudden I felt a sharp pain.
I looked down.
I stapled my thumb.
At first I had no idea what to do. I looked at Mary and she looked at me. Next thing I know I shouted “OH MY GOD I STAPLED MY THUMB” in front of the whole study hall. The teacher wrote me a nurse’s pass for probably the most awkward ailment in the history of nurse’s passes. The nurse took it out and before no time, I was back in bio class and I told my teacher that I literally put my sweat and blood for this bio lab.
Back then she told me it was because of that…very….very…special accident that inspired her to give me a box of bandaids. I made sure to tell her that I’m convinced that she’s my best friend. Anyone can give you something really nice…but how many people give you something that you actually need? When we saw each other last week, she brought it up again, that she gave me bandaids for Christmas that year. Even though it was 8 years ago, I made sure to remind her that’s how I knew that she was my best friend.
I had another moment like that tonight. The adventures of Alex and Brian continued, but thankfully, this time we didn’t have as many misadventures as we did on Friday. As we were taking 787 North home to Albany, Brian yelled at me for passing Exit 3: Rensselaer/Empire State Plaza. I was going for Exit 4: Madison Avenue because that’s where he lives. I asked him, “what is so special about Exit 3?”
“Because it has the best view of Albany! You’re on the highest ramp!”
“Really?! I never knew! Do you mind if we turn around and check it out?”
“Of course, I have nothing else better to do.”
I took 787 South to Exit 2: Port of Albany and turned around at a really creepy condo that we swore was a face for a drug operation. My friend Marc of Cautious and Carefree swears that Exit 2 looks like New Jersey. I guess it was only appropriate that we had a car with Jersey plates on as we turned around and headed again towards 787 North. This time, I stopped at Exit 3.
The view was worth it.
The moral of the story is: your true friends will give you what you need. and will always give you the chance to see something beautiful.
Mary, Brian, and I- this is the day after I came home from two months of interning in Washington D.C. As a welcome home present, they took me rafting down the Delaware.