June 21, 2004

Old friends

My wife and I met a dear old friend for drinks and dinner on Friday night. I have known B (my friend's initial) since we were about two years old. Longer, in other words, than I have known my sister. His father was a Norwegian diplomat and his mother is the person who introduced me to my wife. It's been about a year since I last saw him. He lives in Vienna, Austria now and is a lawyer for a multi-national American company. He travels too much, I think, but he enjoys the work. I'll have to share some of his stories about Moscow.

This is a unique friendship for me. We've lived apart more than we've lived together. There were some years together in Boston and later in NY. We were never living in Europe at the same time. But it never mattered. This is the type of cliche friendship where it seems like yesterday even if it was more than a year. We've gotten better about staying in touch together as we've gotten older and the one time it was ever awkward was when we once let it go for seven or eight years before seeing each other again. That awkwardness probably lasted for all of a half an hour. This time was no different. There was no pause, no problem, we just picked it right back up from where we were last time. The comfort derived from such an encounter, when you have shared experiences and shared memories with another dearly loved person dating back more than 30 years must be the psychic equivalent of slipping into a warm and gravity free bath. You are comforted and upheld and relieved of all stress. You know that there is probably nothing you can say to offend this person or make him think less of you. You have the ultimate security leavened with about a million old stories that you and he can pull out, and retell, and savor again. Sure, the fish may get bigger in the retelling, but you still recognize it. We've also lived through a lot of bad times together and supported each other through them. We even went through puberty together. We had the life altering conversations that you have to have with these kinds of friends. We've lived together a couple of times. Hell, he even moved in with us once or twice when relationships went bad.

We laughed and ate and drank through at least two sittings at this restaurant on Friday. It was bliss. It's always this way when we get together. We hung out for five hours together. You know what? Not enough time. Never is, really.

I miss him already.

Posted by Random Penseur at June 21, 2004 11:07 AM
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