Colorado 2020: Reconnecting with an old friend

This post continues the tale of my AmeriCorps service term in 2020, during which I built trails and performed ecological restoration for the City of Boulder, Colorado. The rest of this series can be found here.

A mule deer as seen from our patio at the Joder homestead on August 2, 2020.

August 3, 2020 was one of the most important days for me in Colorado. That’s because it’s when I reconnected with one of my best friends from high school.

The third of August began with our usual morning routine, which I described here. When my AmeriCorps crew and I arrived at our worksite, we discovered that Jo was back at work, and that she didn’t have COVID.

This was good news, mostly because I didn’t want to quarantine, but also because I had begun to feel a tinge of positive affect towards Jo. However, I didn’t want her to know this, or she may have used it against me.

Most of what I did at work that day was treading. For better or worse, I was starting to become somewhat good at this task. Jo and Kait thus turned me into a weapon, and sent me to touch up sections of trail that other people had worked on. I could literally feel my ego growing.

But the real magic of August 3, 2020 happened after work.

When I was a snot-faced, hormonal teenager, I joined my high school’s film club. I thought we’d just be watching movies and eating pizza (two activities at which I excelled), but the year I joined they decided to make their own feature-length film.

The film club held open auditions for the whole school, which was admittedly small. I didn’t know what an audition was, but I went, and they had me read some lines and play make-believe. Since I was talented, beautiful, and generally perfect, I got the lead role.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish that film before the end of the school year, at which time our director ran away. We therefore tried to make another movie the following year, with Kristyne as our new director.

Kristyne was an excellent director. She was organized, prepared for shoots, and good at managing novice actors like myself. Working with Kristyne and the rest of the cast and crew on that amateur film was one of the happiest times of my life.

As such, if you fast-forward 1 million years to 2020, you can imagine my elation when I learned that my old director, Kristyne, was living in Colorado at the same time that I was in the state.

A yellow flower along the Joder Ranch Trail, as seen on August 1, 2020.

Kristyne and I got to talk on the phone on the evening of August 3 for the first time in years. She was working as a television producer, and I had studied T.V. for my master’s thesis, so we spent a lot of time talking about T.V. It felt great to reconnect with her, and our phone conversation gave me hope that we’d be able to meet in person soon.

We would eventually get to meet, but plenty of events would unfold before then. 

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