Friday, February 27th, 2004 • No Comments on Still Joe After All These Years
While I’m waiting for the sleepy time cold medicine to kick in, let’s talk about… (not sex, I’m not feeling well enough to talk about that…) friends. Old friends. I heard from an old friend last night that I haven’t talked to in far too long. For whatever reason, our friendship has slowly faded so that someone who was once a best friend is now an almost-stranger. Yet, despite the time and the distance, a conversation with him took me back ten years. Just like that, I remembered how close we once were and how much that friendship meant to me. We’re in completely different places in our lives than we were when we met over fifteen years ago, he even more so than me. Still, there is a tangible quality to the friendship we had that transcends the time that has passed.
The older I get the more I appreciate my friends. The new ones who may not be in my life by this time next year and the old ones who vanish for years at a time and the ones who have been there for me, consistently and patiently, through all my life changes. These people, these connections, mean more to me than family. Correction: they
family. A strange, eclectic bunch of people who are more different than similar, both to me and to each other. They are rare, special and wonderful, these friends of mine—the old, the new and the in-between.
The last time I saw Joe (the long lost friend from last night) was nearly five years ago. He looked so different to me, just as I must have looked different to him. It was strange and awkward to reconcile the grownup professional with the young guy I once knew. But at some point over a bottle of wine—or three?—we fell back into an old, familiar routine that made me think, “There he is. There’s Joe.” And so it was last night on the phone. The Joe I remember, the Joe I miss.
It’s nice to know Joe is still Joe because, I guess, it means I’m still me.