Until last night, I hadn't seen my freshman-year college room-mate, Jeff, and his wife, Pat for about 20 years. We didn't have a falling out. Nobody insulted anyone's wife or lied or owed anyone money. It was nothing like that.
Truth be told, we were busy. Each in our own way, busy.
We were busy doing things that men do. Trying to make a living. Raising our children. Growing up. And old. We were busy dealing with life and the vagaries thereof, including aging and dying parents, mishigoss with our kids, and our own mortality.
Last night, we covered it all.
We covered it with the memories of being 17 not too far-away.
And now 39 years have passed and we are each 56.
Being 56 is not easy.
All those up-and-comers, the 30s and 40s, look at you as if you are as old as Moses. I have to say it wears on you. My brain hasn't slowed. I'm a better writer than I was just a few years ago, faster, sharper, funnier. But because Botox is calling, you're a candidate for pasturization. That is, being sent out to pasture.
Last night, we went through a lot of that.
We talked about long-ago friends who had risen fast and flamed out, a few who had struck it rich and a few who had fucked up along the way.
Jeff and I, room-mates in 1975, followed different paths. We were always very different people.
But we have some things in common.
We are like diesel engines.
We might not accelerate as quickly as others, but we keep going.
Neither of us is showing signs of wearing out.
We keep on going.