Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. ‘Nuff said.
The first thing I did when I started out this morning was find myself a way to get south besides the Interstate. Even though I needed to be in Cincinnati by that evening, after my experiences of the previous three days there was no way I was getting back on the freeway. Fortunately, I had my choice of several alternatives, and the one I took, which started out as U.S. 68, cruising through cornfields and passing through small towns and even over a few rolling hills, was exactly the antidote I was looking for.
Nicely mellowed out, I arrived in Cincinnati about noon, and called my two friends. I’d gone to library school with E, where we’d had a great deal in common because we were both doing the commuter marriage thing while our husbands stayed with their jobs, and because we were living in the dorms — not all that common unless you happen to be over thirty, which we both were at the time. I’d never actually met J in person before — she is an email friend I’d met through membership in a listserv for fans of the actor Kenneth Branagh (he’s my longest-running fandom — I’ve been on that list since 1993 back when it was about fifteen people hitting “reply all” to correspond with each other).
At any rate, E wasn’t home but would be later, and J was. She gave me directions to her house, which was right down in town in a nice little neighborhood. After we’d chatted for a while, I asked her if I could use her phone to call my other friend, and she said sure, but just out of curiosity, what was my other friend’s name. I told her. J’s jaw dropped.
Turns out that the two friends I had gotten to know in two entirely different contexts not only knew each other, but were very good friends and had been very good friends for over twenty years. Yes, they both live in Cincinnati, but Cincinnati is a very large city. Bizarre. Wonderful, but bizarre.
We all went out to dinner that night and had a very good time, and I spent the night in E’s guest room.
Some things just aren’t believable unless they happen to you.