This is the story of how I met my ex-best friend, Jude Law. I say “ex” best friend not with disdain, but with the reluctant acceptance that many friendships, like the old squirrel that used to live in the tree beside my house, will die. Or look identical to other squirrels such that I lose track of the original squirrel. In any case, I give you our story.
Back in my mid-years of graduate school (I have accumulated so many years of graduate school that I can now call some “mid”), I thought “this is seems hard and I like the Queen so I’m going to London”. I spent about a year in the UK, doing some researching and perfecting my now beautiful and not-at-all-offensive British accent. One night I was out for a stroll. By that I mean that I walked 5 blocks, got tired, and decided to take the bus home.
Because my legs were wary from those 87 steps I took, I sat down on a short brick fence as I waited for the bus (or double-decker as we Commonwealthers are wont to say. Hup hup cheerio.) Beside me was a homeless fellow with a dog. Like any good citizen, I strongly prefer animals to humans, so I immediately started to ask the man about his canine. As we were chatting, a youngish dude stopped in front of us and put a 5-pound note in the homeless man’s cup. I looked up. It was Jude Law.
Now Jude Law is a good-looking dude but there was also a cute dog beside me, so obviously I was all “meh, you’re kinda standing between me and this dog I’m going to steal so buzz off”. But Jude, ever the best friend, looked at me, paused in thought for a moment, and reached back into his pocket. He pulled out another something-pound note and tried to hand it to me.
At first I was confused. Then I quickly realized that he had made the mistake so many people had made before. Jude Law thought I was homeless. I told him that I was ok and held my hand out in a “no” gesture. Jude Law looked embarrassed. I started to explain to him that there was no need to be embarrassed. I started telling him that my own parents mistook me for a mis-shapen potato when I was 6 but as quickly as Jude entered my life, he left.
Erik Pevernagie, a Belgian artist, once said that “a fleeting moment can become an eternity”. That is not how I feel about my encounter with Jude Law. But I do feel that way about a donut I ate earlier today.