Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I have 33 friends.

At least that's what my Facebook page says. (As of now, anyway.)

I joined Facebook Saturday morning, and so far it has been a lot of fun. Some of my friends don't talk enough, and some of them talk... uhmn... a lot. There are a lot of people with whom I had lost touch, and I am very glad to have this resource with which to preserve those relationships. There are some people with whom I have absolutely no interest in re-establishing contact, but I still think about them from time to time, and I have been able to discreetly peek in on them without bothering them, or stirring up any confusion of any kind.

And there are some that I don't care enough about to even look for, and those, I have left alone.

All of these people are, or have been my friends, and my interactions with them over the course of my life have made me who I am, and will continue to shape me until I die, whether we stay connected or not.

This experience has caused me to think about what, exactly, friends are. I have known thousands of people, been close to a hand full, but really close to only a couple.

 Lifelong, really close, fully trusting, unconditional, no agenda friends... I have one.

 One friend.

 God gave him to me when I was 3 months old, and we played together in the playpen together before either of us could walk or talk. God almost took him back again when he was 6 weeks old, when his mother was involved in a horrendous car wreck ( In those days, we didn't haaave all those fancy-schmancy child safety seats...) and he was very nearly killed. (I'm convinced he sustained severe brain damage, cause, the boy ain't right.)

But God didn't take him, I believe, partly because He knew that I would need him.

We weren't really close growing up. We lived about five hours apart, so we would see each other once a year, maybe, and I think that he and I slightly annoyed each other. We both were, and still are, show-offs and  clowns, and we both crave the undivided attention of whatever room in which we happen to find ourselves, so there was a sort of natural competition between us.

But after he graduated from college and I moved into my little trailer on the outskirts of our home town, we discovered that we had some complimentary skill sets, and that the two of us working together could command twice ( at least ) as much attention as either could alone, and a partnership was formed.

He and I have laughed at each other, worked together, played together, written songs together, chased women together, retrieved broken down cars together, loaned each other money, and seen each other through all manner of physical and emotional trauma. When I wrecked the Turkey Truck, he was the second person to arrive at the hospital behind my wife, and he made it all the way into the X-ray room to laugh at me before Hospital Security threw him out. (He had wrecked HIS Turkey Truck two weeks earlier...)

Since I got married, we have drifted out of contact again, and I had seen him maybe twice in the past three or four years.

But on Saturday, completely independent of each other, with no idea that it was happening, he, in North Carolina, and I, in South Carolina, sat down at our computers, and started our Facebook pages AT ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME MOMENT.

And I believe that if I were to contact him tonight, and ask him to help me dispose of a dead body, the only questions I would get from him would relate to locating heavy equipment to make the process more efficient, and he would carry the secret with him to his grave.

Everyone needs a friend like that. I would never have made it without mine.


Jim O said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere!

tugboatcapn said...

Good to be back...

Daffy76 said...

I didn't know he was in a bad wreck when he was a baby. That explains TONS.

With our closest friends our lives run parallel, even when our paths diverge.
(I still have a bit of that poet's soul. I wonder if he misses it.)

Lone Ranger said...

I would try to contact all my old friends, but I can't remember any of their names.