March 16, 2000
Twilight TwinEleven years. It doesn't seem possible. I know lately I've been reminiscing a lot, but... I don't know. Maybe it's just a phase I'm going through. The 'god, time is going by so fast and I'm getting old' phase. Eleven years ago today, I was a senior in high school. Eleven years ago today, I woke up in Howell, New Jersey. Each year, the choir and the band from my high school (Howell High School, in Howell, Michigan) would go on a tour somewhere. Sometimes they'd go together, sometimes they'd go separately. I don't know how they got in touch with each other, but my senior year, the band and the choir directors came up with the idea of an exchange program of sorts, between Howell, New Jersey and Howell, Michigan. The idea was simple: the Michigan kids go on tour to New Jersey in March, the New Jersey kids go on tour to Michigan in May.
Thursday, March 16th, 1989 was the day designated for sight-seeing. Howell, New Jersey is only about an hour from New York City, after all. Allow me to backtrack slightly: in high school, I was a full-fledged theatre geek. I watched the Tony Awards every year. I adored the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, because they always had numbers from the latest Broadway musicals. I secretly (or not-so-secretly) wanted to be a hit on Broadway someday. In short, New York was my Mecca. That was the big pull for this tour for my friends and me. WE WERE GOING TO NEW YORK! And not only that, we were going to see a real Broadway show.
In their wisdom, the adults concerned decided that the band and the choir student presidents should accompany us on our merry outing, as tour guides. Both seniors, Presidents Eric and Brian (choir and band respectively) were only too happy to skip class for a day and go to New York. As the teenagers we all were, most of the girls were sizing up the two new faces. (Did I mention that Eric's family was hosting Dawn and me? We were greatly envied.)
Cut to the bus trip into the city. Dawn and Jason (then newly dating, they were so cute) and the rest of our friends were goofing off, and someone started singing Weird Al Yankovic songs. Brian joined in. How could I miss a chance to flirt? So, Lisa joined in next. We were all clustered around several bus seats, some of us standing, some of us sitting. Brian and I were standing across each other. At one point, our eyes met. To this day, I wonder if I actually felt the click, or if I only see it in retrospect. In any case, the click happened, and once the singing was over, he and I ended up sitting next to each other and talking.
I was giddy. My thought patterns must have gone something like this: 'Ohmygodhe'scuteandhe'stalkingtoME!' followed quickly by 'IthinkI'mgoingtodie'. It was an attraction unlike anything I've felt, before or since. We got to New York. The Kennedy Center. The Metropolitan Opera. We all wandered like good little tourists, gaping at these touristy performing arts attractions. Through it all, Lisa and Brian were inseparable. I could see the more 'popular' kids of the group eyeing me, trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I kept trying to catch Dawn's eye to give her the 'OHMYGOD!' look. South Street for lunch. Brian bought me lunch. We hadn't shut up once. I have pictures of the whole gang on the pier at South Street. I'm wishing for a scanner right about now.
Somewhere during all this, I started to feel guilty. I had a boyfriend back in Michigan, one I'd been dating for well over six months. Brian, I found out, had a girlfriend he'd been dating for three years. But we really weren't doing anything wrong, aside from hitting it off insanely well.
Finally, after dinner at Wendy's in Times Square (Brian checked a few years ago, it's not there anymore, *sigh*), came the highlight of the whole day: a performance of Into the Woods at the Martin Beck theatre. I was so excited I could barely stand it. Seeing the theatre (which had an enormous inflatable giant's boot draped over the front) nearly sent me into hysterics. Brian and I switched tickets around with people to make sure that we were sitting next to each other and with Dawn and Jason.
Sitting in the theatre, waiting for the curtain to go up. You have to understand, this was literally a dream come true for me. The tension and anticipation was nearly choking me. At one point, Brian reached over and took my hand and he, the old Broadway pro, smiled. We stayed like that for the rest of the show. The show was glorious. It became the basis of many many in-jokes between the four of us, which still persist to this day.
That day was one of the few truly perfect days in my life. The rest of the trip was not without its drama, of course. Brian's girlfriend Val met me and hated me at first sight. Dawn and Jason were trying to work through the beginnings of a relationship, with a jealous friend lingering in the background. And then finally, it was time to go back home. Addresses and phone numbers were exchanged. I was truly, melodramatically forlorn all the way back to Michigan.
That was just the beginning, of course. Not long afterwards, Brian broke up with Val and I broke up with Bob -- for reasons unrelated to anything that had happened between us. We spent most of that summer before college wavering between trying to do a long distance relationship or not. (Of course, given my penchant for long distance relationships, I'm sure you can guess what my vote was.) We ultimately decided not to pursue it, and have remained good friends ever since.
More than good friends. From early on, Brian and I had an uncanny number of things in common with one another. Hence, The List was born. Now, whenever we still stumble across something new we have in common: "That's what, number 1,023?" At one point, The List was actually written and maintained, but we've gotten far past that. I can't remember exactly how the phrase 'twilight twin' was born, but born it was, and that's what we've been ever since.
We don't talk terribly often. We see each other maybe every few years. It doesn't matter. The link is there, and each time we meet, it takes us maybe 10 minutes to recenter ourselves with each other, and then off we go again. The last time we saw each other was June of 1998. He managed to convince me to drive to Chicago to go to ALCON '98, the very first Weird Al fan convention. (Follow the link above, really. It's Brian's take on the whole trip.)
I got email from Brian a few days ago, reminding me that some friends of his, a band called Friday's Child, are coming through Ann Arbor this weekend and that I better go see them or he'll beat me. He also reminded me about his wedding, which is coming up on May 28th. I'm excited about seeing him again. Maybe a little nervous at how this might change our relationship... but then, my wedding didn't really change much between us. Mostly I'm just anxious to see him again, and excited about being there at his wedding, as he was at mine. We have a lot of catching up to do, but then, we always do.
(My apologies for the rather unexpected hiatus. I confess, I also didn't write all of this entry on the 16th. Some was written the afternoon of the 17th as well.)