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Contributed by Ariel, a friend of Gabi and John

On Fridays, at around 12 pm, Gabi and I start writing e-mails. Usually thee-mails consist of a couple references to what will be eaten, several references to needing some wine, and some comments about how much work sucks. Then Gabi and John and sometimes Elliott arrive around 6 (or 6:15 or 6:20 since Gabi is always late) and we immediately jump into recounting what has happened in our weeks; All four of us, truly interested in what has happened, and what is new; eating cheese, and drinking wine, and laughing hysterically because, quite frankly, we are all funny- really funny. At 9:00 we watch Shark Tank and at around 10:00 Gabi and John start to pack things up to head home, and Gabi and I talk about if we will see each other during the week or if we will just wait an entire week to hang out again.

So, that’s what happens - and a lot of it feels very familiar. The hysterical laughter feels similar to when Gabi and I shared a classroom and laughed as we watched our students during their lunch period. The mutual interest feels very familiar because of the day we sped through traffic so Gabi could help me drop off my graduate school application. The dinner and drinking feels similar to all the happy hours we’ve shared, and Shark Tank just feels like all the times that we have just bummed around together over the past ten years.

And some of it is different. Gabi is late because Elliott was crying and they couldn’t get him to stop, and it was unclear whether he was in pain or having a seizure, or something else. As we drink wine, the jokes about how much we need it often circle around to doctor’s appointments and the fact that they still have no answers as to what is going on with their child. Work sucks because everything sucks, and even Shark Tank, has the somewhat dark backdrop of opportunity that we, as friends, know that on some level, Gabi and John think they may have lost.

But all the important parts are so comfortable, and that’s something they don’t always take credit for, but the beneficiaries of it- the people who don’t have to think about the profound sadness every moment of every day and just get to have their friends when we need them- we are lucky. We get to love them, and we get to know that it is what they need, and I admire them so much for letting us need them at the same time.

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