I had dinner tonight with an old friend – we both talk about the rapid growth of gray hairs in places we still have hair (that’s old) – and his daughter who might be coming out this way to go to college. He now lives in Maryland, but he’s a friend from WI high school, when I moved to DC it was nice to have him there and even though I didn’t get to see him all that often, when I did I always enjoyed it. Tonight we had some small talk, a good meal, and some laughter; it was just nice.
It does make me reflect on how quickly the time goes now. Back in high school it seemed we had eternity to do all the things we wanted to do, but looking back now (some 26 years later) it seems like it just flew by and we missed it all. We didn’t of course. He spent 20 of those years in the military and I wasted six of those years in drugs and alcohol before starting a new life sober. He created families and I created new friends, he continues to cheer for the Green Bay Packers and I knew better…
But tonight sitting there with him, pausing before I say his name (I want to call him his high school nickname, but it doesn’t fit so much anymore) each time, I see my old friend with his black hat and blue car in Galesville just living and doing and being. It’s nice to have friends like that, I’m fortunate that I have him, and others, that I think of in that way.
Last night I had dinner with another friend – from Washington, DC. I know him from the rooms of recovery. He’s a great guy and comes out here at least once a year to visit other friends. I can expect to see him pretty regularly I think. It was nice to sit with him and talk about old times and current times and fear (I asked him about steps 6 and 7).
I spent 15 years in DC but that time seems to just crawl at times – not necessarily in a bad way.. but like I was there for a year or so and driving by the Pentagon I was struck by where I lived, and the significance of that place… I had driven by several times before and even been in for an interview, but that one day just stuck out and grabbed me.
But I can look back at helping Gary to set up the dial-up internet at the house and how exciting it was, and the next day there was DSL (that didn’t work most of the time) and then cable the day after… and all that happened in a blink of an eye and the longest of years (trying to connect with dial-up or diagnose a DSL issue took decades).
It’s hard to believe that I was there that long but at other times it seems I just got there and felt so scared and alone in the big city and before I knew it I was gone, off on a new adventure on the other side of the country.
I want a time machine to go back and advise myself to
and maybe not to get one of my tattoos… maybe.
I think as time goes by I become more of an old softie… all I really wanted to be was a curmudgeon.
Time and friendships… never enough of both and especially together.