The Hearts of Friends

The title above has been used before, I’m sure of it. Can’t say where or when. Not laying claim on originality because in the history of words, those four – in that specific order – must have been printed on the cover of a book, in a movie script, or tearfully penned in the diary of a princess. With this legal disclaimer out of the way, I can proceed with my 1:43 a.m. thoughts on the subject.

I’m up. Again. Having finished off another bowl of chicken tetrazzini and nursing a can of plain seltzer as I write, the time slowly pushes forward into deep night … and I’m awake. Nothing new, since this isolation, stay-at-home mandate, time warp continuum is sucking the daylight out of my life. The sleep/wake cycle I used to ride is tire-lessly lumping along a pedestrian free street to nowhere these days. I see no one as I push my bike up emotional hills day after day.

All of us are adjusting right now, though … Please remind me our collective Tour De’Humane Race is happening and I just can’t see it. The race toward normalcy and community-immunity, right? Heading toward a shared finish line where there is a ribbon of vaccines, reopened businesses, and significantly less political rift.

Well, for now anyway, we’re not there. We’re on our late night / early morning couches bitching about not sleeping enough. I am, for sure. Seems the only cure is to remind myself I have the most awesome friends in the world … and I miss seeing them.

To list all of them wouldn’t be fair to those I’d most assuredly forget to mention. Not bragging here, but I have a lot. They wouldn’t agree on the number, however, because … as I say so often … they are stupid and ugly šŸ¤£. In their minds, I am overbearing, pretentious, full of stupid humor, sarcastic, well-intentioned but ill-informed, stylish with no sense of fashion, and best understood when quiet … Oh, and these are my traits as described by my bestest of friends – the loyal four: Mike, Joel, Jim, and possibly another Jim.

I have so many friends in my inner circle other than the four goofballs mentioned. Friends I can text anytime during the day or night who would show up right now with a warm cup of hot chocolate and listen to my story. Nice, cool, reachable friends who are less stupid and ugly. No offense to my loyal four, btw … wink wink.

Extending outward, the descriptors are less unkind – thankfully. We know, don’t we, that friendships change in quality as distances and times change. They are folks – occasionals – who are so gracefully in and out of our lives when we need them to be. The glances up from avacado strawberry salads … and there they are with a smile and a kind hello. Our days filled with such niceness because they close our circles. They fill our empty hearts with good things when we need it.

Mary is such a friend. She has a wonderful heart. Yes, being up in the middle of the night is not good and I’m not pleased about the habitual sock shuffling foot fetish I’ve developed. The path from this couch to the kitchen is worn enough with sock lint. Tonight, however, the trip was well worth the effort.

Mary dropped off a large pan of chicken tetrazzini the other day and tonight I just about finished off the last of it. It is so freakin’ delicious. Late, late night snack o’extra-ordinaire if I must say so. Better still is her genuine care and love to bake a casserole, drop it off, and do it without expecting anything in return.

We are co-workers at a local private school and great friends. Outside of school, though, we don’t see each other much save the occasional staff party or run-in at the local convenience store. Especially now, since the COVID-19 “yeah” stuff goings-on, there’s no opportunity to connect. She’s busy with two grand-young-n’s at home and trying to prepare on-line video lessons for school. In the midst of all this, I get a fantastic chicken tetrazzini casserole delivered. Did I say it’s freakin’ delicious!! Because if I didn’t …

The hearts of friends beat wonderful pulse-nalities. I love them all. Whether they want me to stop telling stories that are, in my mind anyway, folded into magical mysteries, or they drop off yummy goodnesses, ….. I Iove them all.

Too many to mention. Even more memories and joys from them to say or write about so I’ll close with the same four unoriginal words: The Hearts Of Friends.

Know yours. Remember them at 1:43 in the morning when you need to be reminded that your finish line may seem far away and your bike burdensome; However, lonely is never far away when friends are helping you push.

Be rest the best way you can.

DOUG

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