A masculine name from the Old High German words adal beraht, which literally means "bright through nobility."

I always forget how much I adore Albert. We don't talk for months, then one of us makes a phone call and we're back in it, seeing every movie, running all over town, sneaking into things. He’s a great sneak. It was Albert who got me up on the roof of the lab, to spy on people and throw things off and whisper things to each other. It was almost dawn and chilly; he loaned me his jacket and I told him all the stories I could think of that he hadn't already heard six times. I was making most of them up, which he knew. Later, he was pissed to hear Alison had taken me up to the top of the Humanities building – it was taller than the lab, and he hated Alison. Mostly he hated how much time I was spending with her, then. But he ended up winning.

It’s always a bigger compliment to be drawn aside by someone who has a lot of friends, when his crowd is the crowd you’re in and there are people everywhere but the only one he wants to talk to is you. When we went to the re-release of Star Wars I swear Albert knew everyone in the theater. He knew more than one boy with cinnamon buns on his head – that, I think, is special. Afterwards, he slung an arm around my neck and grazed my cheek with his crazy monster sideburn and whispered, “Come on.” He flung himself on the grass and handed me his glasses and talked and talked. I listened and watched him swim through the lenses that made things right for him.

Mostly, he wanted to talk about Adrienne. I did not say:   All right, Albert. All right. We’ll just be friends. But you’re going to have to stop doing that thing you do, where you’re very good-looking, and laugh at all the right things, and you sit next to me in the booth, and you always want to read every word.

for only a moment i had my own albert too

I was driving south setting away the very northern part of Washington for Seattle. Leaving the tangled high hills of forest in clouds behind me, leveling down to flat stretches and clocking the speedometer way up, teasing my momentum with jolts and surges. Weaving between traffic not to get anywhere faster, just to avoid anything that would prevent me from going exactly as fast as I wanted to go. Real fast, and free. As close as I could get to flying because my mood was light. Wanted to skim quickly along the surface. The whole time keeping a good eye on everything, you have to. Nobody wants to end up twisted wreck metal and broken parts.

I saw something on the far right shoulder under an overpass and I needed to stop and pick that something up. We do not need to go into the reasons why you really should pick up a hitchhiker if you can. Just do. It was a quarter mile before I stopped with my hazards on waiting, but he did not notice or look back. In reverse I slowly crawled backwards, he did not see until the end of my car slid past him and stopped. He got inside and I pulled into traffic. He was kind, quiet, and gentle. These were easy to see. His voice told me he had seen great things and people, had wonderful stories to tell. His words were plans and dreams. So I was as delicate as possible. For an hour we guarded the others existance carefully, quietly. We crested the city, left him in the heart of a traffic rich swarming cement. Going south.

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