I drink a lot of coffee. It’s a staple of my day. But I realized this evening that I don’t actually Get Coffee nearly as often as I ought to.

I also don’t laugh so loudly that I feel a need to clamp a hand over my mouth nearly as often as I should. There were peals of laughter coming from our four-top table against the wall this evening – no, no, not while the musicians were performing, of course, but during the time after, when we were conversing, laughing, bitching or simply sitting until the lights began to flicker out and the patient, yet visibly tired, barista pointedly stated that Starbucks was closed and she hoped that we had a lovely rest of the night.

I’m enjoying the process of getting to know people, of discovering stories, diving into conversations, swapping anecdotes. The circle of acquaintances I’d cultivated prior to relocating from Vermont was one largely built upon shared familiarity: we might not have known each other well, but we’d known each other for a long time. It reaches a point where you reach a threshold: without the distance keeping mutual knowledge minimal, you either become friends or resign yourselves to the place you will likely always hold for each other: long-time, comfortable enough acquaintances, with whom you exchange hugs, perhaps inquiries about how things are going. It’s nice to have those relationships in your life – I have some long-term acquaintances that I adore and hope continue for a long time. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be surprised one day and discover that the relationships change.

But I find myself turning more to the possible newer honest-to-goodness friends or candidates for friendship coming into my life. It’s the latter group, coupled with the dear friends I already have, that really want to know the ins and outs of what I’m doing – and I the same of them.

And they are the ones with whom I wind up laughing as I close down a coffee joint in Boston, trying to smother the sound of happiness with my palm.

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