Tonight, I started wondering about a couple of old friends, friends I grew up with. These guys were my best friends. You know the old saying about the difference between friends and best friends? How a friend will come bail you out of jail, but a best friend will be sitting in jail with you, saying "Damn, that sure was fun!"? Thes guys would've been sitting right beside me, one on each side.
One of them is still working in the town he grew up in, only twenty miles from the town where I grew up, and live in now. The other one, last I heard, was a deputy, about 65 miles from here.
I haven't seen either of these friends since I got married in 1996.
Nothing happened between us. No anger, no disappointment in each other's life choices. Nothing, except, maybe, life, time slipping away, long work hours, children being born, things like that. And I know, if we could get together again, we would be back in our old friendship, just three good ol' country boys, rip-roarin' around and raisin' hell, just like we were in high school.
Or would we? Can we ever go back to those days, those times of our youth? The carefree ways, the feeling of invincibility, the power of youth, the idea that we had time to do anything we wanted to do, be anything we wanted to be, and never have to worry about growing old?
The answer, I'm afraid, is no.
And that's the best thing I have ever known. It's also the saddest.