Aug 14, 2008

Dear Laura Rees,

Tonight, I miss Salt Lake.

With some degree of frequency I've made mention of "Laura and Val" and perhaps so often together, one might think the two are a pair of Siamese Twins - that they are not, but they are a pair of wonderful friends - wonderful friends whom I missed so bitterly tonight my eyes began to leak.

An Ode to Laura Diane Rees...

It was a short courtship of a week or two once officially meeting one another, after which we decided we'd be roommates in Manhattan. The plans changed, she moved to Salt Lake, and with her help I secured employment and followed suit.

You may wonder what it is I miss about Laura ... her dancing skills? her clever jokes? her mellow attitude? endless eagerness to dine at Bajio or Hires? her nice kitties*? Tonight, it simply was the memory of our morning routine, that brought this post to fruition.

It goes something like this ...

At 7:55 am my alarm rings, but really it's 7:50 cause I always set a 'fast five.' I rise at 7:50 so that Laura and I don't overlap too much in the bathroom, she sleeps til 8. I go to the restroom, she stumbles in.

"Good Morning L."
"Morning," she replies. Sometimes she's chipper, sometimes she's tired - more tired than chipper really. She wears the pajama pants, and a loose blond colored headband. She puts her contacts in.

"Are you showering today?" I ask. We take turns to save time and hot water. I ask, but I already know the answer- she showered the day before last. All she'll need is some baby powder and she's ready to go. I shower. Her hair straightener is out, she always lets me use it. Maybe that's why I miss her, cause she is a good sharer. Sometimes I talk to her from my room, which is just around the corner from hers, but I'm always too loud. We share the top floor. She always tells me to keep my voice down. I always forget the other 3 roommates and innumerable house guests are sleeping downstairs.

Some days she emerges from her room in some wonderful JCREW ensemble that I like, and then realize I own. So, we go to work matching. People tease us, but we don't care cause 1. they're from Farmington and 2. the outfit is better than theirs anyway. Sometimes she just wears a hoodie, which I like too.

We walk downstairs, careful not clank on the steps and wake someone on the couch, or Lindsay Lark in her room. Then we gather breakfast and snacks in the kitchen. I load a sack with string cheese, a red pepper, a cucumber, carrots, a rotisserie chicken and a can of garbanza beans (I get hungry). Laura opts for a big gulp of water (which she'll spill on herself at the stop sign before Judge Memorial), and a cup full of cereal. No milk, she likes it dry.

On our way to the front door we both exclaim, "I'll drive." We take turns, and the other always assure the driver that they'll "do it tomorrow" - it is a very equal carpool. Like clockwork, it's 8:27 and we congratulate ourselves on getting out the door before 8:30.

Sometimes we let the passenger look out for oncoming traffic as we shoot across 1300 East and down 700 south. We pass Judge (water spills as Laura drinks), and then down to Banbury Cross - the most delicious doughnut place in the world. Now that I think about it, she also spills her cereal in my car, but I don't mind, it makes me laugh. When we pass Banbury we always think silently, "maybe a doughnut today?" and sometimes we say it aloud. One those days we stop ... a maple bar or old fashioned cake for Laura, and boston creme doughnut holes for me. We never make the light at 400 south, but that's ok, it gives us an extra minute to scarf our snacks. Which I do ... but not L, she always savors hers - sometimes she doesn't even finish it by the time we get to work.

We continue on through downtown Salt Lake, recalling the events of the evening before. Someone is wonderful. Someone is a bad word. Someone sat on the porch, or walked to the kitty pitty. And then we arrive at the on ramp to 1-15, and the best 12 minutes of my day begin.

Sometimes we don't talk at all.
Sometimes we sing harmony along to Boys II Men.
Sometimes we complain about the drivers who still don't know how to negotiate the snow.
Sometimes we hope for a full moon.
Sometimes we get pulled over for speeding.

We guess the contents of the 18 wheelers that pass us. I always guess milk.
We make jokes about seasons passports.
We ask what they are selling "lots" of for the "Lots For Sale" sign.

It is 8:53 and we arrive. I drop her off or she drops me off ... and we say "see you at lunch." Which we do, almost every day. It is a wonderful 53 minutes together.

Now, I don't work for ThomasArts and I don't live in Salt Lake. I'm not able to get ready, get breakfast and carpool with Laura anymore. Those 53 minutes of morning routine burrowed a little hole in my heart. A little hole that Laura sits in - at the wedding she sat there, on the porch she sat there- but now it's just a comfy seat with a name tag, waiting for the next time I see Laura.

Here's hoping she sees a milk truck on the way to work tomorrow.


Kalie said...

It makes me wonder how many time we all criss crossed paths... we drive down seventh to twenty first all of the time.

I nearly cried reading this. You make me miss my Laura equivalent. Do you think other things and people make that hole smaller over time? And do you ever feel a little bad that you can't make your spouse fill that whole hole?

Good luck.

J.R.G. said...

you're right. People from New York are way better than people from Farmington.

J.R.G. said...

oops, that last comment wasn't something nice. Just kidding. Those doughnuts do sound delicious

Jake and Jenna said...

very sweet, noelle.

Sherry said...

I have been lurking for sometime, but as I read your "ode to laura" I had to comment because it brought a tear to my eye - it is my own little Laura who I too miss so very much. Noelle, you have been such a wonderful friend to Laura! Your wedding looked so fabulous and you were the most beautiful bride. Enjoy your time in NYC!

Alison said...

isn't it weird how much you miss your gf's? I was at gateway and I saw these girls laughing and shopping together, wearing tank tops and big sun glasses and I almost cried.