05 April 2014

Double Act

As far as triggers for a trip go, this one was pretty serendipitous: One fine day, I found myself looking at a post on my Facebook newsfeed. Its author was my best friend from elementary school, a person I had seen daily until 1995 - and once since.

Yet here he was, reaching out into his social sphere, and asking if anyone would be interested in joining him to see a play. I followed the link to the performance details and was sold. We connected, got the tickets, and were good to go.

What made this reunion rather unusual was the venue for the play we had picked: A Broadway theatre. My friend had not, as he later confessed, actually expected anyone to take him up on his suggestion. But when I raised my hand, he suddenly found himself planning a trip overseas: From Zurich to New York. To see a play. And to catch up with his desk buddy from 6th grade. Why not?

For me, the Big Apple was only an hour's flight away, which sadly still hadn't made me visit the city more frequently since I moved to Montréal. So it was about time. Soon, I found myself sitting in a hotel lobby, waiting for my friend to arrive. Would I still recognize him, after all these years?

As it turns out, my friend had the very same preoccupations. And they were just as unfounded. Not only did we immediately connect again, it felt as it we'd never really lost touch in the first place. Yes, there were questions to be asked and updates to be delivered, but it was just like a well-practiced two man band taking on a new act: Wandering around a rainy New York, the harmony and the rhythm came naturally.

It was only appropriate, then, that these two old chums would go see two other long-time friends on stage - one of which, indeed, having had a defining influence on our youth through his work. So there we were, for the last night on Broadway, only a few rows away from two of Britain's finest actors, delivering an intense and stirring performance in a clasical piece about friendship, loyalty, and the passage of time. Or maybe something completely different, for Waiting for Godot is a famously absurdist piece. And thus just the kind of thing we always had a weak spot for. It was spectacular.

We vowed to take our double act uo again. Some time. Somewhere. For All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players.

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