there were fifty some thousand people around. I heard my name. I looked up. there was my friend Jen.
I haven't seen her since college. she was one of the coolest girls I knew. she was in engineering with me, but a year ahead. she was a mentor of sorts to me and my other friend Jen. by that I mean she took us under her wing and went to grab margaritas with us when we were supposed to be in our every-Thursday-afternoon engineering class.
she was like the big sister I never had. she gave me a guitar for graduation. she insisted to the other Jen and I that we could still be cool and fun while being enginerds, even after she switched out of engineering.
we used to take road trips every summer together. usually up to the northwest to visit the other Jen. we were supposed to be roommates my senior year, but she ended up transferring to another school to finish up engineering. after college we kept in touch a little, but as too often happens, lost touch eventually.
I've thought about her often since college. she probably has no idea, but she is definitely one of the reasons I never considered taking the easier route and switching out of engineering entirely when the going got tough. she also made me see that if I wanted to also get a business degree, I should. she was excited when I told her I was going to grad school for engineering, unlike my family. she's the "older sister" that helped me to believe in myself and all the possibilities.
a while back, I saw an article on her in our alumni magazine and e-mailed her. she had told me she was dating a guy from Colorado, and that she was here from time to time. but I had no idea she'd be at the game yesterday. and she had no idea I'd be there either.
we caught up on each others' lives, as best you can at halftime. she's getting married in a couple of weeks. in Colorado. even though neither she nor her fiancée lives here now. they eventually plan to move here.
talking with Jen was like my own little time machine. it was like we were standing on our own campus, not a thousand miles from where we went to school, over a decade later. sure the maroon and white at the football game had been replaced by black and gold. but it seemed very little else had changed.
true friendship. when neither time nor distance matters.