Thursday, October 25, 2007

Friends Pt. II

I was too drunk to remember where Dr. Neptar's lair was exactly. Somewhere around that time, too, I went to a party at Robbie and his girlfriend's house. Her name was Lisa. I remember she was hot in a 20 yr old hippy drifter observing a late 20-something yr old bohemian girl sort of way. She was too shy to full-monte into Dr. Neptar's hot tub with the rest of us. That was a fun night. I don't remember where we slept. On some couch somewhere I'm sure. Thinking back it's as if the nights, in my memory, never had an end. Like the wilderness bachelor party where we all got struck by lightning because we were sitting in a puddle beneath a tarp up Suck Creek Canyon. Only one blog reader may have the answers, the details -- the glue necessary to reassemble missing and broken pieces. I remember King Cobra in the Camelbak, prank calls, Timmy the Talking Truck, nude laps around the block, Sugar albums, crashing your Saab turbo, and building my first set of wheels under your guidance. Do you remember the Salsa pint glass you gave me years ago? I'm still drinkin' out of it. This sounds like a bad man-on-man personal ad. Maybe it is. What's wrong with a man loving another man? Thanks for turning me on to so much stuff, a lot of which is only now beginning to make sense.

For every "dark" side, there must be a "light" side I suppose. Of course, that is if one chooses to see things that way. Perhaps that's why I treasure this photo so much -- it reminds me of the struggle of trying to reconcile one stance against the other, the futility of believing that one view is better than another. (And symbolically Dave is in black, Stewart dressed in a coralish pink!) While Dave and friends were busy leading me down the road of mountain biking, loud music and tequila binges, Stewart was turning me on to the Dead, CSN, and generally feeding my tie-dye side. We had a lot of good talks (and we did our fair share of partying too). He helped me gain some perspective during the horribly rudderless times of one's 20s. Thanks for always telling me I had an old soul, Stew. The hikes and climbing trips we did are some of the fondest memories for me. Stewart's wife Kelley held my hair out of the toilet when I threw my first real party and got way ahead of my friends with consumption. They tucked me into bed and told the guests not to jump on me. (That admonishment did not save the hood of my Bug from being dented that night beneath someone's body weight.) Of course, my revenge will always be the salad incident, which I did not see (only lived secondhand over the phone), but still cannot think of without almost crying. And the common thread -- laughter. Genuine, healthy, belly-aching laughter. Jokes and fun and laughing at everything -- especially oneself. And perhaps the best gift Stewart ever gave me -- the phrase "I love you, bro." Stew was the first friend who always closed our visits, our conversations with that phrase.

Of course, there is no dark side and no light side -- at least not from where I view things. But it took a long time to realize that truism. Over Christmas 2005, April, Sylvia and I were lucky enough to take a long trip south again -- to visit my family and friends in Tennessee. We spent some time with David and Rosalie, my ex-wife Robin and her parents, and we stayed with David and his wife Sherrie, as well as having dinner with Stew and Kelley at their place. I've maintained regular contact off and on with Stewart, but hadn't seen Dave in years. Things weren't always smooth between us -- we both had our share of issues to explore that circumnavigate the boundaries of most friendships. The beautiful thing, I've discovered, is that if you leave some room a heartspace never seems to diminish. We popped in, parked a large, loud diesel dualie in their narrow drive, made some introductions and were off like old times. Almost as if we have more in common now actually.

Dave and Sherrie at Brewer's Jam in Knoxville.

Enough for this post. It's the fall -- it makes me wax philosophical. Soon it will be even darker and colder, friends. Best to find some warmth among kith and kin.


Andy said...

i don't have any friends. nice post.

Patch O'Houli said...

It could be your blog. Maybe you should write about god and kittens and happy things. Just a thought. And always remember: Jesus is your friend.

Your friend,