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Thread: Friends

  1. #1
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.


    I have the damnedest friends. Take Richard for example. We have been friends since the sixth grade. I had this stupid rubber alligator I called Freddy. I would make him joke and dance and say all the stupid things I was too shy to. Somehow he and Kevin and I bonded over that. We spent weekends at each others houses, sometimes all of us and sometimes just the two of us. His dog Lobo was the biggest German Sheppard I've ever seen and he chased me up a barn wall once before Parkour was invented even. We built elaborate mud cities with roofs and walls and windows and ornate doorways on each of the houses along the banks of a creek that led to his pond. He is an excellent sculptor. We smoked apple jack tobacco in a pipe when we camped in his parents pop up RV. We had pine cone fights and bottle rocket fights and cow patty fights and... a blast really. As we matured into our teens we kept doing some of the stuff and other stuff we let fall by the wayside as you do. I'm sure my stories in the Tocky's tales thread are riddled with his mention.

    We smoked pot together the first time and many many times thereafter. We rode motorcycles together often. We rode horses at times. We rode on his dad's tractor. I was in the car behind when he plowed his into a stand of pines and came out miraculously unscathed. We peed on an electric fence together. How many people can you say you did that with? It's like they say, the stream breaks up before the current carries all the way to your pecker. BTW his nickname was horse because we had seen the size of that pecker. We shot his bow at haybales. We philosophized about life and that fucker had one you could not defeat. We were in the Air Force together at tech school in Sheppard AFB for a time. He sold me his Yashika camera which took excellent pictures while we were there and while I was in England and with which I documented much of my first twenty years of family life.

    After I was married I would come by his house on the way home and talk about work and family and life. When my daughter was old enough I took her to see him and fish in his pond. He was always a solitary cuss and I wanted to break him out of that a bit. I always wished he would have found some girl and had a family too but part of me knew he would always be a bachelor. He became uncle Richard to her. We would set her up with a chair and fishing rod and just sit on his deck, which we built together one weekend out of some rough cut sawmill two by eights I got a deal on and drink a beer just watching her haul in brim after brim. We solved all the worlds problems right there on that deck if it just would have heeded us. We shot golf balls off that deck. My daughter whacked one right into my butt cheek and Jesus it hurt. At least they got a laugh out of that. Me too once the pain eased. He helped teach my daughter to drive. A stick shift anyway. I wanted him to have a taste of fatherhood. I thought he deserved it and wished he could have been one. I think he would have made a good one.

    You know where this is leading. You can see the shape of it and it isn't good. The fucker was not going to tell me. We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at my daughters and for at least the Christmas one he knew. He was just going to be gone one day and no mention of the cancer. I know it's his way. No fuss. When my daughter called because she had talked to his sister and learned of it we rushed over after work to see him. It's in his liver and lungs and some even on his brain. It's too far gone. He has maybe a year and half even with chemo at best. "Well" he says, when I'm trying to do something, anything for him, bring him meals or anything I can think of, "you can't do anything about it." I know. That's the damnedest part. I can't. I want to. I have to do something. "Nothing to be done", he says. "You have to let me do something", says I. "No I don't", says he. "Yes you do, if not for you then for me. We have to go on a last road trip somewhere. Something." I'll talk him into something.

    My daughter wrote him a beautiful letter. In it she said all the things I never mentioned to her I was bringing her by to see him for. She got it. She knew without my having to tell her. She knew she was the daughter he never had. She brought her own daughters to fish there while she hung out and talked to him. She feels like I do about him. He is the quirkiest out of the blue character who will say anything he thinks any time he thinks it and we love him. When he is gone he is going to leave an awful hole in both our lives. He wanted to know did I want his mower. No motherfucker I don't want your goddamn mower. I want you. I want you to be there as a good friend to always sit on your deck and talk about life with. Maybe your salamander sculpture. I always admired that. A thing you made with your own hands. It would remind me of the mud cities we used to make as kids.
    Last edited by Tocky; 12th Feb 2021 at 01:04.

  2. #2
    Registered: Jun 2019
    Location: Deepest Sussex, England
    I’m sorry to hear that. I know what you mean. Life’s tough. You have the months ahead to do what you think’s best. So that’s good. I watched my first webcast funeral this week for a friend I met 70 years ago. His son found my Christmas card which was still on his Father’s desk and emailed to say his Dad had died after weeks in hospital from Covid. Lockdown travel and socialising restrictions make things difficult. Seeing his name come up on the live webcast confirmed it was really true. Like most things in life I thought he’d always be there. Too late now.

  3. #3
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    It's so hard. We're that age now, Tocky. Since Mara (MsLedd) passed, I've lost someone about every six months, most of them about my age, none from Covid. Two of them just literally dropped dead in front of their spouses. I'm about to hit the 7 month mark and maybr thr streak will be over. I don't know how much I can take I guess it only gets worse as we get older. He'll, I shouldn't be here at all - I expected people would be having these conversations about me at this point. Sorry to hear this though.

  4. #4
    Registered: Feb 2002
    Location: In the flesh.
    Thanks Aged Raver and fett. That is damned decent both of you. I always say I don't know how the old guys do it, take the loss of all the people that made your life great. I guess I'm finding out. Part of me doesn't want to think about it and part is fearful of who is next. Some I thought would go have held on for many more wonderful years and some I never expected just blinked out like a light in a marquee. None of us know how much time any of us have. It's a hell of a way to live.

  5. #5
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Sorry for your loss. As we age, more and more people will go away and it never gets easy, just a little more acceptable. Not exactly how I wish to put it, but one makes peace with death over time. It still hurts and a hole is bored into one's soul. You must have loved your friend dearly to express this here. I understand and hope you find some peace. Be very thankful you had the time with him that you experienced. Value that and remember. Yes, the lights blink out quickly and then it is dark. Be the light. As long as you can.

  6. #6
    Registered: Jun 2019
    Location: Deepest Sussex, England
    Once in a while (even when a TV/radio personality dies who’s been there most of my life and I wasn’t even a fan) I joke that I must be getting closer to the front of the queue. But then this morning the sun was shining and I was in my little front garden and a lady and her son who live 7 houses away stopped to chat. This lady, who has lived in her house for over 60 years, is as bright as a button, and this August she'll be 102 years old. Incredible. So I think the message (for me at least) is … Keep on Truckin’ .

    Acknowledgements to Robert Crumb.
    As Wikipedia says
    drawings such as the above, of an assortment of men
    strutting confidently across various landscapes
    became iconic images of optimism.

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