It’s funny how you slide back into conversation so easily with friends from long ago. You may not have seen them in fifteen years, and there you are, picking up like it was yesterday. The friendships you made when you were in those glorious, nebulous years of little responsibility except for yourself, a little more maturity than the ridiculous self you were in your teens – those friendships stick. Those are friendships not made from who was in your class, or who your parents were friends with. You chose those friendships. You had time to invest in them, before Mr. Right would intrude and sweep you away. And if you were as lucky as I, you had a fluid group of girls you could go out with, talk into the wee hours, and commiserate over term papers, or the first real job. Some of those relationships were more casual or sporadic, but because they were made of shared experiences , the woes of crappy 12 year old cars always breaking down, the fun of planning a Victorian costume party, the trekking across Europe with backpack and Euro rail pass, they grew some deep roots. So now when I run into an old friend the conversation naturally flows, without the explanation required of new friendships. The effortlessness is what’s missed when you move somewhere new. In those interim years between immaturity and full adulthood with all it’s attendant responsibilities, there’s a sweet spot that gives you space to build roots with people. The place you were living in, the culture you had and shared, required no puzzling over meaning and how to, and why. It just was. And that’s why meeting old friends means you can just be.