I’ve been dragging my feet a little today. Now I need to slice before showering before heading off to a buddy’s palatial estate. Well, for the suburbs. He’s done well for himself. Actually, and he and I are probably the ends of the success spectrum of our group, but we’re all ok. Whatever that means.
By all I mean the group of 7 that met around sophomore year, some earlier, formed, and did not go away to college. And in that geographical vacuum used those years to solidify into one of those friend groups woven into the fabric of a lifetime spanning all the eras.
We have had rifts before. As we’ve grown up. 2 of the guys have drifted but not in our hearts and are always included when we speak of the group. One guy, sort of the meathead of the group, probably felt the least connected of the 7, has drifted out to life and drifts back in for a party every year or two. Another guy was on TV for a bit, is literally the best at the job he began way back then, possibly in the world. They both have kids and are both busy.
This is the most recent pic I have of the 5 of us that are left, and are meeting up tonight for the first time in over a year due to the latest and bigger rift.
I’m in the middle. The guy to my right is our youngest, and most stubborn. It’s his thing. He takes it far. We’ve rifted probably more than any other combo and are maybe the two strongest right now. At least he’s the one I am closest to. We also live closest and have similar ideologies, comparatively. The guy all the way on the left grew up with a chip on his shoulder. He has grown to be a proud man. Before me and the big guy grew so close, it was them – the dynamic duo. But proud and stubborn don’t mix. They are the reason for the current, long standing fracture.
That’s us without the meathead guy. This was them consoling me after my divorce. It was the purpose of this night. I am big. I am big again but not that big. Being that big helped facilitate the reason for that night. They were there for me. I handled it really really badly. This current rift, the one meant for mending tonight, is also centered around a shocker of a divorce, and how it was handled. People change. So it goes.
My point with this is not to go into my closest friends’ drama. That would be a novel. Just to say that I’m nervous. Tonight could be perfect. Kids are coming. Wives and girlfriends. Maybe even a cameo from the TV star. We might end the night with a picture to add to this collection. Or, it might be real bad. Might be the actual end of an era.
But I am hoping for holidays back with the 7. We all have families. I understand that once or twice a year rather than the vast amounts of time we got when we were kids is probably more possible. But holidays and Bears games and just guys’ nights. I hope those aren’t over.
I also know people move on. Even in our mid to late 20s our high school friends, some of them, looked at us weird for still being so tight. Here we are buying lake houses (not me, ha) and sending kids to college (me, eak!) and still fighting to hold on?
Yes. Whether it’s a good idea or not, we know the initial dream of letting our kids grow old together and after that happens enjoying some form of retirement together, until the end, is worth fighting for. We’ve been lucky. Hopefully the luck hasn’t run out.
Here we go.