“I remember it distinctly. It was 1985 we last saw you two!”
“And I remember seeing you guys after that but it was just for a few minutes around the turn of the century, I think…………But we saw J last year sometime when he whupped me in a game of chess! Haven’t seen D in years!”
And so it was that six old friends got together for dinner at a little greasy chopsticks Thai restaurant last night to reacquaint ourselves after a long time apart. It was a lot of fun.
Despite a few encounters remembered or forgotten in the interim, the basic, regular-gathering-type relationships ended some thirty or more years ago. No bad memories, we just wandered off in different directions.
We had started out as three college friends who played chess into the wee hours of the morning and shared coffee and our twisted senses of humour while doing so. Twisted being the operative word. S was married to Jo but Ja and I were single at the start. Within a year or so that imbalance had corrected itself and so the six of us became a loose and friendly social unit.
But it wasn’t for long. S & Jo took up their professions outside the city soon after and started to act like a family-in-the-making, Ja and D were doing much the same thing albeit a year or so later while remaining in the heart of the urban beast. Sal and I kinda wandered some, traveling and moving, undertaking different jobs, eventually forming the basis for a family unit much later and half-way out into the burbs. Our friendship was great but our synchronicity with each other was out of whack. We grew apart for reasons logistical more than anything. Life just got in the way and the lives we eventually chose were not as compatible as the ones of the college chess players.
I am sure that the above is not an unusual story. College friends grow apart over the years and then get together and reminisce about old times, do some catch-up and plenty of hugs are shared. And that is what we did last night. And, as stated, it was fun.
‘Cept my old friends are whacked! Omygawd! I haven’t laughed so hard in years. These lovely people are truly great characters. They are so different. In some ways they are not-so-different and then, just as you are lulled back into a sense of knowing them again, out comes some quirky eccentricity that just puts me on the floor. It was like an episode of Seinfeld last night. It was great.
Of course, any reader wouldn’t appreciate reading about this (it is clearly one of those ‘had to be there‘ moments). And, for the most part, these kind of moments require thirty years to set up. But I was hysterical. “I really missed you. I love you guys!”
D – the clear and distinct winner in the eccentric category – gave me a suspicious look and, with an accusatory tone to her voice, admonished me sharply, “How can you say that!? You don’t know us any more. We have all changed.” And she glared at me as if I was wrong and bad and slightly insane. Classic D! The sentiment and delivery, of course was said in exactly the same way as she might have done thirty years ago. It was as consistent with her character as anything. It could have been 1985. And I broke up.
We parted at about 9:00 pm and I laughed all the way home and found myself grinning and shaking my head for hours afterwards.
Yes, of course, we’ll do it again. And soon…….there is so little time and so much laughter to be had.