“often overflows its borders…” Continue reading
Writer, poet, possessor of 2 cents, blogger, recovering corporate animal and eternal student of life, who harbors a firm belief in his Grandmother's mantra that: "People need to get off of their rump and do something". All while keeping in mind that a cheering section will only get in the way.
The most powerful thing about friendship is the perspective that it affords us in realizing that old adage of:
“See your friends, see yourself”.
The dynamics of friendship is something littered through much of my writing.
It has always been a tightly held contention of mine that friendship is one of the elemental forces that provides us with the needed contrast, making our borrowed time on this planet well worth the ride.
It is the innocence of childhood; awkwardness of adolescence; coming of age; figuring out our place in the world; the advent of adulthood and ultimately the realization of our own mortality that truly tests our mettle.
When others have faltered and thrown in the proverbial towel there is always that exception, that handful of people that never shirk from the duty that friendship entails.
That being said I am unable to segment and assign weight to my friendships as I liken them to the ingredients in a recipe…
In that removing a single ingredient can impact the flavor of an entire dish, but when I ruminate on friendship and what those foundational elements are comprised of, my best friend Ken sits in that pantheon of friendship and I would be remiss to say that our 4 decades of history cannot be understated.
Being one of the most instrumental people in my life has to be a thankless job and for that I cannot enunciate the sheer gravity of what that means, for all intensive purposes you have been one of the best people that I’ve ever had the privilege of having in my orbit.
Serving as a muse, confidant, conscience and issuing: “Cat that’s just real stupid, what’s wrong with you man? I’ll punch you in the face” logic has saved my life many times over.
You’ve always spoken truth to me regardless of the circumstance(s). I’ve stopped trying to make sense of your magnanimous nature.
Throughout our lives your consistency in setting your burdens to the side for the purpose of taking on the heavy loads that I’ve had to contend with simply because it was what needed to be done… Is nothing short of powerful and I truly appreciate it.
My greatest fear is that I haven’t been the friend, the pillar that you’ve always been for me.
Admittedly, I stopped trying to figure it out years ago, because you’ve taught me that:
“Friends do because it needs to be done, not because they expect accolades.”
I’ve always been inclined to believe that our friendship was fostered prior to our entrance to this world as our Mother’s would often regale us of their striking up a friendship when they were pregnant with the both of us.
I am uncertain when it happened, but you stopped being my friend decades ago.
You are my brother, because our experiences trump the fickle bonds of genetic lineage, I value your faithfulness in always being there for me without judgement because you knew that was what was needed.
As a sidebar: Remember when we kids and you couldn’t have milk with your cereal because your face would make the milk spoil, so you had to eat your cereal with water?
Happy Birthday KR…
The living room was silent with the exception of their disparate breathing and the creaking of the floor.
The three of them stood at attention waiting with baited breath.
Being in formation was a ritual of sorts for these 3 brothers – standing in chronological order as their father towered over them.
The room was brightly lit with an abundance of sunshine, there was a mirror mounted on the wall behind them that scattered the light throughout the living room in a melodic pattern of sorts.
There was a series of bookshelves on the left, seemed to taunt the boys…
Standing there unmoving, just like them.
Directly facing them was the relative freedom of their garden and past the fence was a playground.
It is safe to say that the playground was preferable to their current station.
Nothing was said as they followed him with their eyes in anticipation of what was to come. The look on his face was implacable as he paced back and forth, while his gaze seemingly burned a whole through each one of them.
The silence was broken with the bellowing of one of his soliloquies – his voice echoed throughout the house and reverberated through each one of them as they stood wide eyed and glued in place.
“Y’all keep your nose in these books, because it ain’t nothing out in these streets…You’ve got to look out for one another… You’ve got to set an example for each other to follow, and that goes for you too boy! as he pointed at the youngest of the brood.
And with that it was over and the boys were allowed to disperse.
As for the youngest one, he thought hard about what this “example” that his Father spoke of meant…
But once the cartoons began to flash across the screen the brothers forgot about the mandate.
Years later, the boys never forgot as they often mimicked their Father’s soliloquies word for word all while keeping his mandate.
I was one of the three boys standing there, the youngest one to be exact.
Setting an example was always something that we endeavored to do, often without thinking about it.
Perhaps it was the spirit of repetition that was our Father’s calling card, but we always endeavored to walk that line.
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