An old friend was in town and sat across the table from me over the weekend. More than a decade has passed since we shared a meal, a drink, a face-to-face conversation. The years may be showing around our eyes, but I could still see his youthful smile and the face I have adored for what seems like forever.
He is the kind of friend that has always been with me. Over 23 years, he knows my secrets, my demons, and my joy. He was with me every time a boy broke my heart, and somehow remains at the center of most of my cherished stories. Drunken laundry afternoons at the Glamorama on Hope Mills Road (why do I remember that?!!), a failed attempt to steal a giant inflatable bud light man, and a weekend at Myrtle Beach with Fred the magic pumpkin.
We watched each other grow up. While we may have splintered away from each other –for whatever reason– as he talked with me again I found him as familiar to me as my own blood sibling. “What was the name of that bar we always went dancing at in Fayetteville?” and “Do you remember making all the Thanksgiving stuffing that one year?” We shared stories of Saudi, Somalia, private letters, oh, and don’t forget Christmas in July. Ahhhhhhh…. good — no scratch that — f*ing great memories.
My fondness for my friend is timeless. My admiration for his threshold of putting up with me all these years is infinite. My astonishment, and sheer, utter gratefulness for a friend like him is unfaltering. I think we will always see life the same as we look out the west window. I hope he knows I will love him forever and ever – Amen.
Everybody please rise… oops, no wait, everyone please sit down. (inside joke).