Recently I had a housing experience different from all my previous ones. I’ve lived alone for a long time, I’ve lived with my parents, with May, with my sister and, for a while, with random people. I had friends living with me, but their stay was temporary, and until then I had never experienced the other way around, being a kind of guest at friends’ place for three weeks.
Before VFS I didn’t know Fernão neither Maísa even though we studied in the same university, lived in the same city and kind of worked with the same thing. We met at VFS. At first just Fernão since we we’re in the same class, and then Maísa after she arrived. Things clicked right from the start and I don’t think I ever developed a bond as strong as this one in such short time.
Fernão and I never officially worked together in any VFS project, but after Term 4 we were lucky enough to be neighbors in the studio. Before then we always had each other’s feedback regarding assignments and help whenever one needed it. Let’s skip some time here, otherwise this post will be endless.
When my parents left Vancouver, after graduation, I decided not to stay home alone – for reasons that don’t fit this post – and asked for refuge at Fernão and Maísa’s. They accepted me and we even had a nice walk around to talk about house rules and stuff – I was gonna be sleeping on the couch, so it was not like I could hide in my room and nobody ever saw me me. Before he went over the rules, Fernão said this one thing which I still can remember, even though all the rules are now forgotten. “The only reason we’re talking about this is because our friendship is something I value”. Our main goal was that neither they felt I was intruding their lives nor I felt they were intruding mine – which is something a little hard to achieve when you sleep on the living room.
Day one, they get me a height-adjustable table because we agreed working on the dinner table was gonna make things hectic. What no one expected was that this tiny table was gonna be so awesome. I could level it to the couch – aka “my bed” – and work from there, without requiring chairs or extra space. I packed all my stuff on the corner under the table and just reached it when necessary, in an attempt to contain chaos to that corner of the living room.
They knew I was on a strict diet and they were about to start one of their own, a lot crazier than mine. So there was this initial common subject: food. We chatted a lot about it almost every day. We had meals together – usually I was crashing in their meals, or eating something they couldn’t and making fun of it.
Besides all the food stuff, we talked a lot, about everything. That was the thing which I liked the most and never actually experienced. I knew them alright, but there were so many yet unheard/untold stories that we never ran out of subjects to talk about. It’s different than living with someone in your family – you have YEARS together you know what movies they like, books, what they like to do on their free time, which shows they’re watching and their general behavior, like how they’ll react to things.
Reactions was also something awesome. At one dinner we were talking about reading, then it shifted to reading on phones/tablets, then we showed Spritz to Maísa, then I mentioned I always wanted to learn speed reading but never actually got to it. Minutes later Maísa is sitting at her computer, watching speed reading classes on youtube, Fernão is looking up Spritz and I’m looking into apps that integrate that in an android phone. The three of us agreed that would be cool on a kindle. Minutes later, we all disagreed on our previous agreement, stating that it would make the kindle pointless.
The more I write, the less I feel like I’m capturing the essence of what I want. I guess it’s a recollection of small chunks of memory that boosted these two from “great friends” to “lifetime friends”. Watching them go about life so closely taught me things I can’t put in words and there isn’t one single moment I can think back with an awkward feeling. It was like taking a break from seeing every day as the one before. Vacations from what I thought of myself. By the time I left, I was different, maybe not too much outside (just a few added pounds) but definitely on the inside.
This is my public “thank you” note to you two.