Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Today is Andres’s birthday. When I first met pepito just over 10 years ago, it was at his place in Bordeaux. His roommate had invited me for a party they were throwing. He thought I was some aloof girl across the room and instantly disliked me. A few hours (and several bottles of wine) later, we were among a small circle of people talking, laughing and sharing war stories from our first few months of living in that bizarre land called France. He invited himself over the next day for a visit and we’ve been friends since.

We used to go grocery shopping together when we were students in Bordeaux. We’d bring his granny cart and backpacks and hike over to the nearest supermarket (Auchon). We’d fill our shopping cart with couscous, eggs, juice, coffee and other indispensible student staples. We had tiny kitchens and tinier budgets, but we managed to fill our carts to the brim. After checkout, we’d stand in the entry way off to the side, filling the granny cart and our backpacks with as much groceries as we could fit. Then we’d carry the rest of the bags in our hands and hike back to our apartments.

No matter what he’d always try to carry more than me. I always found this charming and amusing. Okay. He’s like half of my width, my height and with those long lashes around his pretty green eyes, you wouldn’t think he’d be capable of hauling bags and bags of groceries across town. But he’d always offer and when I’d decline, he’d sigh, shake his head and grab them from me anyways.

I miss his silly ways, how we’d spend hours gossiping and laughing, how he’d dole out a portion of his budget to always include a little “grignote” of chocolate or some other absurdly sugary treat.

He took off for art school in Paris 9 months after I met him and he’s been living there ever since. My latest ploy is to get him to move to the states to be closer, but the boy is stubborn. He just got his french citizenship so I can see why he might be hesitant.

Pepito is a darling boy. He is kind and funny and smart and quirky. He doesn’t like to eat fish, but he likes fish motifs (or at least he did when we lived in the same city all those years ago). He is artistic and creative and wonderfully, tenderly sensitive. He makes me laugh.

Happy birthday andresito-pepito! Hope the Paris skies are clear and beautiful for your birthday picnic at butte de Chaumont and that your friends there bring lots and lots of cauchonnerie to nibble on.

I miss you!

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