My friend moved away today.
He recently mentioned he was going to stay in a hotel for a few days between the time the movers came and his closing. The hell you are, I said. Come stay with me. (Frankly, I think that’s what he was hoping I’d say, and yes, I rose to the occasion). But how do you count a tiny Good Deed like that in the recipe that makes a friendship?
When you hit midlife, stuff happens: people move away, lose their jobs, retire, some die. You start to make your world smaller because you want to surround yourself with the people and things you care about, and then it gets even smaller, all on its own. And you don’t have any say in it.
So today was one of those days. We grilled some hot dogs, because they’re our favorite thing, and watched some bad TV, and laughed a bunch, and then I walked Steve to the corner and put him in a taxi to the airport. Goodbye.
Steve and I had mutual friends, so I knew who he was way before we actually met. That was 25 years ago. When we did finally cross paths, we were on neighboring chaise lounges in Key West. Within a couple of days, he had me move out of my hotel and into the house he was renting so we wouldn’t miss a minute of fun. And we’ve had lots of it – fun, that is – over the years. We also could drive each other crazy, like brothers and sisters do. But he’s the kind of guy you could count on to hold your hair if you were barfing, and lend you money, and keep your secrets, and laugh at your jokes, over and over again. I guess that’s what a friend is: invaluable.
Will I see Steve again? Of course – he moved to Florida, not Mars, and I love the beach. But will we fight about what movie to go see every week? Will I have someone who knows you have to vote for the previews as you watch them, and that first one there gets the tickets and the other guy gets the soda and popcorn? And also knows what my movie treats even are?
No. No, I will not.
Call a friend. Do it now.