Three old men--old men who were once young boys together--meet for dinner and a glass or two.
Chris, Fred and I met way back in 1971. We were 9th graders. Vietnam was raging. Drugs were rampant. According to Time Magazine, in a single 18-month period during 1971 and 1972, the FBI counted 2,500 terrorist bombings on American soil, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy had been murdered just three years earlier. In three years, Nixon would resign.
The world, it seemed to many was coming apart.
But, like I said, we were 9th graders. And amid this societal chaos we found each other.
We found laughter.
Unique ways of looking at the world.
Now it's 47 years later, and, perhaps as usual, things again seem to be falling apart. In the last two decades, the US has spent an estimated $6 trillion on wars that have killed half-a-million people. Whole swaths of our nation have been ravaged by drugs. Ignorance, racism and hatred seem ascendant. And we are led by a president that makes Spiro Agnew look like Albert Schweitzer.
Amid all that, Chris, Fred and I got together one night last week. We once again laughed, hugged, revealed, moaned, shared. We told stories. We told jokes. We went into detail about the woes of everything from the lack of fatty corned-beef in the world to kids whose pants droop to reveal their boxers.
We cut each other off, we stepped on our punchlines, we laughed and laughed some more.
We didn't solve all the world's problems. But we got through many of them.
And ended the night, as not enough nights are ended.
With the feeling that as awful as the world can be, it can be, as well, a beautiful place.