Friday, June 4, 2010


Today is the birthday of the beloved Jen Porter. I am up here in Boston visiting the lovely girl and could not be happier! In typical Jen fashion she has a plethora of activities planned for us this weekend, including (but not limited to) parties both Friday and Saturday to celebrate friends graduations, an art gallery tour, canoeing, and eating out at fabulous (most likely vegetarian) restaurants. I don't know how she plans it all while working 13 hour days. She is truly an inspiration to us all.

At this moment I am sitting alone in her kitchen, sipping water and taking care of some loose ends via the internet. I know that Jen will scold me if I don't leave the house until she gets back from work, but I myself have been working so much recently that it's a treat just to be able to sit and read and think and figure out how much money I actually do have in the bank and where the rest of it has gone.

I've always felt at home in Jen's apartment, probably because I slept here before any of her roommates did and before they had a kitchen table or bookcases or even a shower curtain. That was back in August, though I've been here once since then, in February, to interview at the North Bennet Street School. (To which I got accepted, PS, though I turned it down so that I can go to the University of Iowa instead and get my master's in Library and Information Science and the Book Arts.) As I surfaced after riding the T (Boston subway) to the Central Square stop and I walked down the bricked sidewalks, pulling my lime green roller bag behind me, I felt as if I was walking the streets of a place I used to live. Everything was familiar to me, from the graffiti art ally way by the food co-op to the rows of houses lining the streets, I felt as if this was a place that I had once belonged. Even ringing the doorbell felt strange: I should be able to walk right in! Boston will always be a city that is near and dear to me, even if I haven't actually ever permanently resided here.

I am so lucky to be able to take the time to come up here and visit with Jen for her birthday. Boston is a beautiful city and Jen is a beautiful person; she is one of my nearest and dearest friends. She always believes in me and give me the confidence to do whatever it is that I want to do. I love to talk about books and ideas with her, life plans and future dreams. I am a better person and friend when I try to be more like Jen: I am truly blessed to have met her our freshman year of college, a time that seems both so recent and so long ago. (Can five years really slip by so fast?) We have done so much together since that time. We've traversed the country (California, St. George, Boston) and then some (Mexico). She's helped me plan splendid parties and made me amazingly delicious birthday cakes. We've hiked, we've gone cross country skiing, we've gone down hill skiing. We've graduated from college together. I've been to her house for Easter. She taught me how to drive stick the night before we drove from California back to Utah in Zelda, her amazing little car. In so many ways I am a better person because I have known Jen Porter.

So, Jen, old British man that you are, I salute you on this, your day of days, your birthday!

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