Thursday, February 17, 2005

Blowing through Chicago

I was day and he was night. That was and probably still is the way most people describe my friend Pooquie and I. We are at first glance two very different people. He is loud. I speak quietly. He has a natural roughness. I am rather gentle. Yet underneath that surface that it is easy for the world to see with the naked eye and draw premature conclusions from there, Pooquie and I are very much the same. Two young, black, educated men from somewhat fractured families on an incredible life journey with twists and turns neither of us could have ever imagined. We share many of the same interests, ideas, feelings, fears and many of the same personal narratives with different twists.

Pooquie and I met during undergrad when he and I were in the cast of As You Like It together. He was playing Orlando and I was the fierce Le Beau. It was not a love at first meeting relationship. Our relationship grew through the run of the show and since then has just continued to grow. When he and I graduated we knew it would be hard to part physical ways. He would be moving to Chicago to pursue his MFA and I would be moving to DC to pursue my masters in public communication. Distance, classes, shows, presentations and all that comes with living a full life has not kept us apart. I finished my program in 2002. In May he completed his three year MFA program and decided to stay in Chicago. Although we talk on the phone nearly every day, in the three, almost 4 years now that he has been in Chicago I haven’t gone to visit him. He has come to DC twice and he and I saw each other last summer in LA. So, tomorrow night after work I am boarding a plane and heading to the windy city for my first visit.

I am looking forward to seeing him and spending time with him. Since undergrad all of our in person time together has been limited to just a few hour spurts. Quite the opposite of when we used to literally spend days together. Whenever he and I get together we feed off of each others energy and somehow balance each other so well. It is not very often that I say that I am excited about anything – but I am excited about this trip.

I haven’t been to Chicago in my adult life. I’ve been several times as a kid and once as a teenager. It should be different from an adult perspective. Chicago is a place that I’ve toyed around with the idea of living. Perhaps my time spent there this weekend will offer me a glimpse of what it would be like. I don’t really have an itinerary laid out for this trip besides spending time with Pooquie, seeing a play and having dinner with another friend of mine from high school who now lives in Chicago with her husband. She is a wonderful young woman, he is a very nice young man and their families are both amazing. Breaking bread with them should be fantastic. I hope the entire weekend will be.

Hello Windy City, they call me ClayStarr!