Mug - Anna Fiorino

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what qualities constitute a “good friend” and if I qualify as one.   

Also, parasites are crucial to ecosystems. (This is what I remind myself as I field a friend’s FaceTime call for the seventh time and then find myself texting two minutes later to ask for a favor.) 

In all seriousness, it’s been an interesting transition — from what felt like long-distance friendships (during the height of lockdown), back to friendships that could be maintained in a pre-pandemic way (maskless coffee dates, etc.). 

Rewind to summer of 2020. For my friend’s birthday, we plan a socially distanced celebration at her house. I show up; I pitch my tent; I set up my chair 6 feet away from everyone else’s; I wake up alone and hungover at 10 a.m. to the sound of traffic and flies. A summary: It is 90 degrees, I am in a stupid tent in someone’s stupid backyard, and now, I have to go to the bathroom. 

This same friend visited me last weekend, and thanks to a certain handy dandy vaccine, no backyard tents were pitched. The days of camping in the suburbs are behind us. 

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, a list of things I’m grateful for (in no particular order): borrowed camping gear, modern medicine, old friends.

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Anna Fiorino is a graduate from San Diego State University. She is a journalist with (more than three but less than twenty) years of experience. In her free time, she edits novels.