She was the friend of a friend in college. The first time we really spent time together was when we were waiting in a long line to get into a Eddie Money concert in college. Eddie Money was washed up even then, but there weren't that many concerts on campus, and it was something to do.
Our friends were all on the concert committee, so they were inside saving us seats, but we had to stand in this massive line to get in.
"I live right down the street and I have a big bottle of tequila," she said, by way of introduction. Okay, then. This chick, Stacy, was cool. We walked down to her place and did some shots and hiked back up the hill and watched the show, and then we were friends all the time. Just like that.
For our senior year of college, we lived together in a ramshackle house with our friend Julie. We could have lived in a nicer place, but this was far from campus and we were out of the student crush, and that's what we wanted because we were cool like that.
The shack had a hole in the kitchen floor and no heat and the oven door was held shut by string. If you wanted to shut the oven door, you took the string and hooked it to a cup hook screwed into the wall beside the oven. It didn't really seal the door shut very tightly, but as I said, the house had no heat, so when we wanted warmth, we baked something.
Despite the mild hardships, we also had the Talking Heads and a black labrador retriever and Stacy taught us to make pesto, which was like some exotic miracle thing back then, and we dated cute boys and drank white wine and ate this really good sourdough bread all the time, because that was when people still ate bread. Good times.
Stacy was always responsible and organized, the type of friend you could trust to talk to adults and make a good impression, not like most of us. She was the first person I ever met who owned her own filing cabinet and used it properly, with folders and labels and alphabetical order.
She could decorate, too. While other students were tacking up band posters with color-coordinated push pins and hanging up beach towels over the windows, she had framed prints and curtains she sewed herself, curtains that looked good with her bedding.
She also had a magic touch for slipping into the very best parts of things. If there was a VIP tent, she was in it and the VIPs were chatting her up. No one ever questioned her right to be there. If things ever looked iffy, she grabbed a clipboard, because, as she explained "If you have a clipboard, everyone thinks you work there."
She made fun happen wherever she went. I've been hot air ballooning with her. I have danced like a maniac with her. Built a Rose Float and slept on the sidewalk in Pasadena. Well, ok, nobody really slept. Shopped in San Francisco's Chinatown for ingredients for a massive, messy Chinese feast with her. Had dinners and breakfasts and Farmer's Market meetups with her.
We lived together at a different house after we graduated and then she moved all over the place for work and then she moved back but I moved away.
It has been almost 30 years that we've been friends. I'm so glad she talked to me. So glad she invited me into her life and put up with me all the times I was cranky and tired and obsessed by men and not very tidy (which was always).
Thanks, Stacy, for everything. You're a keeper, a beautiful friend.