So I went out tonight with four dear friends from high school, some of which I haven’t seen in, well, almost since then. We went to a diner, which, in some regards, made me feel a little old as that’s what the old folks do right? They go to diners or coffee shops, not the bars of our youth or (thankfully) infrequent bars of our present. I say thankfully as, well, we remember the bars of our youth and these now are not quite our gig. Not because we can’t enjoy a drink or that we actually feel old in such places with responsibility hanging on us like an albatross in some cases or a blessing in others. But because they are just that…the bars of our youth. They were for those days but I enjoy these days. Those bars have their place, in the current time for the young and us old (on the right occasion), but that wouldn’t have been place for such a long overdue reunion. Simple was in order, something I have always been a fan of.
I didn’t feel old here. I looked across our two tables (one pushed against another to accommodate the old ones and give them a little space…insert a simple laugh) and I saw my youth, a grand youth. One worthy of the fondness that my memories have given it. There was Dave, one of my best friends, whose dad was the principal of our high school (never quite as awkward as you might think it could have been as we were good kids), Pat whose dad is apparently still the dentist we always knew, and now remembered him to be (Pat still has perfect teeth…bastard), Adriene whose last name rhymed with her first in a comical way that she always hated but now appreciates for not being Smith or Jones (not to slight any Smiths or Joneses by the way) and Rosa, who is, and always will be a proud, softly outspoken New Yorker (something I never quite adhered to, thus my escape to my beloved, adopted hometown of Pittsburgh after high school…but that is a story for another time).
There were plenty of reminisces, as might be expected, while we kept our two pushed together tables longer than I’m sure the staff would have liked (though we thanked our waitress well, I hope, for our time), and most of it involved quite a great deal of laughter, including Adriene’s which I forgot was always so vibrant and infectious. Reminisces that reminded me that we were very lucky. Very lucky to now have the families that we have, very lucky to have become our parents in too many regards to admit and very lucky to still be sitting around in a diner in Brewster, NY to actually do this remembering together.
As I made my way home I thought on how my day had not gone as well as I would have liked. Domestic bliss had a blip before I left and I actually considered calling off my joining of the get together. I had gladly agreed to feed the cats of a good friend as he and his fiancé enjoyed a night on the coast in Connecticut but, due to this blip, I didn’t feel as if I would be able to raise much of a smile and was now running late on the feeding of the furries. I was going to beg out using this an excuse to not be late for our little reunion. But then, my Maria reminded me that not going would just be plain stupid. “You don’t get very many of these moments” she said, or something to that effect. Blunt she is, but never incorrectly. These moments, indeed, do not come very often. And when I did get home? It was mine, my gang was there and my lucky was confirmed. Still breathing.