Catching Up With Chris

Right near the end of the day yesterday, I got a message from my old college roommate, Chris. I learned he was in town, and was hanging out at a rooftop bar at a nearby hotel (the Godfrey).

I was literally minutes away from walking out the door to head to the train, and instead hopped a bus. A few minutes later, I found myself wandering around the rooftop deck, walking past people dressed way nicer than I was, trying to find my old friend.

Funny enough – I walked by him at least once, as I totally didn’t recognize him (he was sitting with coworkers). Eventually, I had to do that thing were I walked up and stood by their table, looking to see if it was actually him or not.

A view of the city, from our table.

Chris and I were at Indiana University together, in Bloomington. We were in the same dorm room, and were neighbors in fact. Our rooms shared a wall and – interesting tidbit – embedded in that wall was an old, wooden box that opened from both sides.

That box used to contain the telephone that was shared between the rooms. By that time, the phone was long removed – but the box remained. You could open up the door and peek into the other room.

I have another story about a prank, where a guy got stuffed through this box and broke into someone’s room on the floor. Once inside, they unlocked the door and proceeded to re-arrange all the furniture from that dorm room in the common lounge area. But I digress.

After our freshman year, Chris and I moved off campus into a house where we lived with three other guys (also neighbors from our dorm floor). This was in the early 90’s, and my word – over 20 years ago.

In fact, when Chris said that to our server (“We haven’t seen each other in 20 years!”), I had a hard time processing it. Still do, if I’m honest. College feels like a long time ago, but doesn’t feel like 20+ years ago.

We had the chance to catch up briefly, before his evening plans. We talked a lot about our lives since college, our houses, and wine documentaries (Chris was very into wine in college, and remains so to this day).

It was interesting talking, as he remembered a lot of things I didn’t. As we were reminiscing, it felt like he was adding in pieces to my memory. Fun stuff.

A photo of Chris, as we were both on our way out. I told him that he really should have stayed at Hotel Felix (I have this weird compulsion to promote this hotel based on its name, despite the fact that I’ve never stayed there).

While we reconnected on Facebook some time ago, it’s really hard to wrap my head around the fact that we haven’t been face-to-face in over 20 years. Despite all the extra hair on his face, Chris still looks like the youngster he always was.

It was very enjoyable to raise a few glasses with him. We both plan on meeting again, before another 20 years slip by.

Old Friends in Chicago
Brunch with Kevin
Visiting with Jim: Old Friend, New City
Friends for Eight Years, Meeting for the First Time

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