On Old Friends and Happy Endings

People will come and go into our lives with a great deal of certainty. That’s life. Some you will forget quickly, others not so fast. We would share our thoughts, our problems and our ideas with one another and when two guys do that, that’s as close as you’ll get to love without being physical. In our younger years, we were both crazy. I lived by my wits and my attitude. He just used his wits. We did it all. We knew we were headed for trouble. I didn’t care. Neither did he. The trouble with going through life at break-neck speed is that everything starts to blur and then one day you hit that wall. By the time I had hit my wall, we hadn’t seen each other in years, not for any particular reason but our lives and our paths had taken us in different directions. It took all the kings horses and all the kings men to put this version of Humpty-Dumpty back together again, something that would take years to accomplish. And we all know that the copy, no matter how good, is never as good as the original.

But there are those who never really leave your heart, for one reason or another you just never quite seem to get them out of your system. The common denominator here was golf—my friend was in the golf business and my thoughts are never really that far from golf so, I guess, that was the link. The friends that we had in common and the particular courses that we played all seemed to figure into the mix, too. Nobody seemed to know what happened to him, he just kinda disappeared. I was in the dark. So was everyone else that I knew. Someone had spotted him once in Florida but that turned out to be a wild-goose chase. It would have been easier to find Elvis. No, usually when someone goes missing like that and stays missing, it only means one thing. My Russian grandfather used to say: He quit eating potatoes or he woke up missin’ for breakfast or he’s takin’ a dirt nap. Yah, you get the idea. He was gone, really gone. For good.

About four years ago, I started to write the short story Peter and The Deacon , a fictitious story that was based at the course we had frequented together. Although none of that story featured my friend, his presence was with me in all the time I spent on it. I’m serious. There were times in the story where the main character, Peter, would be out walking the course at midnight and I would think of my friend. When Peter gets to meet The Deacon, a much older version of myself, my thoughts would always go back to my friend. As the story grew in its popularity with the publication of A Box Of Shorts , my friend kept going in and out of my thoughts. I couldn’t explain it, really, it was just one of those things.

In March of this year, quite by accident, I bumped into my old friend through the internet. It seems that he had forsaken the big city and done the smart thing and gone back to the simple life in farm country. That had to be very hard to do because when he was among us, he was the big fish in the little pond. But, you never really know where you’ll find what you’re made of until life comes along and kicks you to the curb. Sometimes, it’s best to go back and start at the beginning. That was the smartest thing he could have done. Needless to say, there’s an added bounce in my step and a lightness in my heart knowing that my friend is still among the living and doing well, I might add. I’ve toned it down quite a bit but I’m still a little crazy and I hope he is, too. So, here’s to ya, Hoss. Be well, my friend. You are loved. There you have it. Whew!! A happy ending. At least, that’s the way I see this. MLProko (2011) more at www.mikeproko.com

Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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