Ken was one of my college roommates. It was a time of transition and discovery for me back then. We had together decided we needed more than our Freshman experience had offered and so we took a risk and set out for another harbor. We found one together and it made all the difference in the world.
We were co-conspirators and probably not naturally inclined to become friends as there were too many differences between us. He had already experienced life in a high school based in Manhattan while I was served up the comforts of a fine suburban New England Catholic boys high school. From the start, I could see that he drew others into his magnetic field, a force that made everyone around him feel acknowledged, special… a friend. I was more plodding, careful in my passage. We were too different, could never become best of buds.
But there we were. I remember coming out of the shower, where one of the guys on the hall always kept a boom box blaring, to tell Ken that I had just heard that John Lennon was dead. I remember Ken setting me up with a date for the blind date ball. I think back at the simple courtesy he displayed, always asking if it was ok if could turn the lights on when he couldn’t fall asleep. I remember the endless stream of people who came by, or who called. And I recall the parties we held and the surprising number of faculty who stopped by to them. Great parties.
But decades went by and there we were, standing in front of each other for the first time since. And it all came rushing back. There he was. Older of course, yet the very same. It was wonderful.