The Lava Has Cooled

Brothers. Brian and Lance.

I’m not sure how it came to pass. They, separately, own two restaurants in town. The Capitol Hotel and Old Canal Inn eateries are located within a mile or two of each other. Most of us around these parts have parked our Blair County butts in chairs and booths surrounding tables – munching down fine breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare.

I enjoy early morning frivolities inside the Capitol with my friends. Yes, “friends” for those reading this who may consider my life as one without such surrounded happiness. See, as my day goes occasionally, some cross my path who, sarcastically, speak briefly on this matter. I do have friends – many in that circle as a fact. Those who suggest otherwise just don’t get it. I know of their mindset, however … and, I know mine.

Companion walk-alongs are really nice. I believe it. If this wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t have them around in my life. Every once in a while, though, a disagreement – perhaps a subject heavier than a lighthearted dissent – turns into a lava pour that takes a turn into the calm, peaceful friendship community two friends enjoy.

This happened. But, not inside the Capitol or Old Canal … and did not ensnare a friend who usually meets me there. The unease, however, did keep me away from the Capitol for two days. Strange. But, not really.

Took us a few days to work it out. Religion is probably NOT the best thread to use when weaving together a nice conversational sweater even IF you’ve been friends with someone for a long time. I never fully appreciated the depth of his uninformed views (insert sarcasm emoji here), nor have I ever taken the time to entirely take in my complete and utter genius in regard to my own views on matters spiritual (of course, insert humility emoji here).

We spated our way through a barrage of texts and one very interesting phone call. He said, I said … During one text string after an hour of words after words, I wrote, “Pretty much comes down to this: You think you’re right and I think I’m right. Now, how do we determine who is? There’s really no way to get there, is there? (especially with bible ‘stuff’)… So, we need to stop the discussion.” His reply was fascinating to me: “No, the discussion is good. It’s fun to learn why people think the way they do.”…

He’s a poker. Half the time he pokes to poke. I wasn’t sure if this was a cry wolf scenario, or he was really trying to keep me from a falling heavenly sky. When he replied as he did, I fell back in my already broken-in Honda – no longer feeling I was in the driver’s seat of the conversation. Did he REALLY want to understand my position on a God belief, or was he looking to bolster his stance through my words? Was he hearing, or just listening? When faith and belief systems are challenged – even within the community of two – a volcano of emotions spew forth from miles away and, within minutes, begin to burn the companionship structures.

We fire hosed the situation yesterday. I had him call me and we worked it out – as friends do. He now understands my superior thinking, and I get his illogical reasoning. He owes me a lunch and I will graciously accept.

Most likely, we will go to the Old Canal Inn.

Yesterday, I was there for lunch to meet my dad and his friend, Charlie. As an aside here, the off-hour presented a rather vacant room with just the three of us … and an almost five-year old. Sophie was off pre-school, “helping” her waitress mom serve us. As I enjoyed my juicy “Canal” swiss-mushroom burger along side dad’s haddock dinner, Sophie shuffled over to our table frequently to ask difficult, identifying questions such as: “What color is this crayon?”, and, “How old am I?”.. Our responses? Why, “blurple, breen, and sred, of course … Her giggles at our apparent unawareness of basic color recognition made her afternoon minutes pass quicker than expected, hopefully.

We need the challenging mental moments … and the “What color is my crayon?” times, too. Balance. In less than 48 hours, my life went from unanswerable, deeply held convictions to red, innocent crayons held by little orange-colored cheeto hands asking, “Do you know where I go to school?”…

If Brian and Lance ever fought as brothers, I’ll never know. They come from a large family, so I bet they did … sometimes. I do see them together frequently, though, and there’s a lot of respect and admiration between them. The same holds true betwixt Doug (yes, Doug) and I. We share the same wonderful name. I am Doug #1, he is Doug #2 – as it should be.

We’ll continue forward believing what we do …and, why we do. The lava has cooled and the landscape around looks a bit different. Change is good. Like I said in one of my last texts to him, “We’re good for one another, regardless.” …

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