Justin hates his picture being taken. He says it's because of his work, and trying to stay out of the newspapers, out of the limelight. His job is quite high profile. Once, he tells me, his mom gave him a winter coat for Christmas. He had mentioned he could use a coat, so his mother did the only thing a respectable mother in her position would do. She bought him a bright yellow parka, which she later admitted was a ploy to be able to spot her son in the papers if he was photographed. It worked. Justin never wore the parka again.
This evening he also reminisces about twenty years ago, and the twenty four hours that created what is turning out to be a lifelong bond. It was in San Sebastian, Spain, where we were both on a study abroad program. I had been there for a semester already and he had just arrived for the second half of the year. He claims that I hadn't noticed him yet, so one day after class, in true Justin fashion, he walked up to me point blank and asked if I wanted to join him at his Basque cooking class. I wondered who this new guy was, but I said, "Sure! Why not?", and he smiled. "I promise you it'll be a fun time. Come on." And off we went. The next thing I know, we were dangling our feet over the railing on the Paseo Maritimo watching the waves crash at sunrise, telling each other stories of our lives back home and not wanting the day to break. Come to think of it, that might have been the first time I stayed up all night and watched the sunrise. That night we had chopped, cooked, laughed, drank, danced, explored, and sat in silence to the morning hush. It was a perfect way to begin a friendship that would span the globe.