"I would rather walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light."
A knock on the door.
A peek through the hole.
A familiar face.
It is that time of the year, one of several, when the patterns of people familiar prove to be consistent as ever. Mother’s Day. A child moving from one grade to the next. A funeral. Thanksgiving. Christmas. It doesn’t matter what the specific event is.
He’d blow through on the wind first, a hint of his body’s bouquet would arrive days before he did. Without having to consult a calendar it always just felt like time for him to return home and, like clockwork, he would.
You ever just have one of those friendships? The kind with so many layers that it never made sense that it never became a whole cake? Or…that you never cared for it to, never looked for anything more than what was, right then? Good people with good intentions and no game. My favorites.
I opened the door.
There he stood, just as tall as ever, a little more to his mass, far more hair on his face, but immaculately groomed . He was, as usual, impeccably dressed, a cross between his sporty self and the air of fatherhood and maturity. We hugged. He picked me up. Routines. I took a seat. He took a seat. The same ones as usual. And then we rapped.
The pieces shared with me between phone calls about business let me in on what’s happening now. Situations in his life doing a flip flop that he worked out before my eyes. A genius of the interpersonal sort with the wisdom of grandfathers from another time. I marveled at this and shared, for the first time, how old his soul is. He laughed, admitting he was just beginning to realize that about himself. We laughed.
His hand found my knee. What’s going on with you….are you happy, he asked me. I ran down the run down. Catching him up on the months since the last time the wind blew him in. He noticed I was lighter in spirit and told me the difference looked good on me.
More phone calls.
His time is never his own. He is forever beholden to another’s events or needs. He takes refuge on my sofa, sitting with a friend who wants nothing more from him than than to be who he wants to be for himself. Here, he can be easy. Here, he can be light. Here, he can be respected as a father, partner, son, but need only be friend. Here, he doesn’t have to bring gifts or leave money or field requests of his time and resources. Here he can just be.
He comes here to just be.
Honored to be hailed as respite for those I love.
Until next time, Friend.