My dear friend Elisia, who lives in Leominster (40 miles from Boston), was able to come to Portland for the weekend, to meet with a group of women all working with a local life coach. Elisia flexed her plans to include a short stay with Tara and me.
It was delicious to see her again, after years apart. Lissy and I met in 2004 because we saw each other every day on the train. We both got on at the same time in the mornings at the end of the Fitchburg Line of the Massacusetts Bay Transit Authority commuter train, and shared an hour and 10 minute ride. We also left the train at the same Brandeis/Roberts stop in Waltham. Me, up the hill to school. She across the road to work. We returned to the train at the same time every evening to share the ride home.
There’s something about seeing people every single day, day in and day out, that makes them less strangers. In fact, I was so intrigued by the idea that I based my entire Master’s Thesis on data collected about relationships on commuter rail trains.
Lissy is quoted in the thesis. Our relationship went from strangers, to acquaintances, to friends, as we began speaking to each other more and more often in the safety borne of familiarity. The relationship moved off the train and began a life of its own. I got to meet her enthusiastic and funny husband, and later, their first child. And later…their second! I cried my heart out to her during a breakup. On a trip back East after I had moved to Oregon, I was in the area when I realized it was almost time for the train. I asked my friend to drive me to the Brandeis/Roberts train station, and went running down the tracks to meet Elisia as she walked to the platform to wait for the train.
I can’t explain the magic of friends. I don’t open up to girlfriends easily. I am an extremely friendly person so you’d never guess this about me, but I remain very tightly guarded against sharing my deepest feelings with others. But Lissy got through, and for that I am so grateful to her. There is an insecure 7th grader inside of me that is delighted and relieved when I spend time with a girlfriend who loves me as much as I love her back.