I enjoyed another day in frigid northern California today, riding my bike around Oakland. As I mentioned in a previous post, I lived here for years, though it now seems like a lifetime ago. When I lived here before I didn’t have a bicycle, and my life was much, much different from its current incarnation (and not just because of the bike). It’s hard being here without some of the people who defined my life in this space (and by some of the people, I mean P.–miss you!). But today I rode over to Fruitvale to visit with E. and S., who were some of my nearest and dearest friends from lo those many years ago, and it took the edge off that vacancy. I met E. the night of her first date with S., interviewing to be her new roommate in Berkeley. Apparently I talked a bit too much, tried a bit too hard, and kept her from having time to gussy up for her date, so I wasn’t her first pick. But I ended up getting a spot as choice number two, and E. and I became good, good friends. S. apparently didn’t mind her lack of gussy, because ten years later, here they are, and they have this baby whom I saw as I rode my borrowed bike up to their door. I got to bounce around with the kiddo, stick my tongue out at him, smooch his belly–you know, new baby stuff. It’s funny. I haven’t see these friends in almost four years, but as we sat around and they cooked me dinner while I told stories just like in the old days, it was like no time had passed. But it has. I mean, they’ve got a baby! Everything’s different! But actually it’s not. I arrived on bike, in my current incarnation, and met them in this new having-a-baby state, and we fell straight back to our familiar ways. These two made me feel at home as soon as I moved here, and it was nice to fold right back in to their home this afternoon. And the baby? Yeah, I’ll keep him. I mean, they’ll keep him. Whatever. I look forward to another bike ride to the old to the new to the old tomorrow. And to teaching Eli how to ride his first bike. I’m totally calling dibs on the position of Bike-Auntie!