There are only a few real friends we have in life. We may have hundreds or even thousands of acquaintances, but real friends, we only have a few.
While fulfilling my civic obligation at jury duty this week, my phone vibrated. I was sitting there watching people give the judge their excuses on why they should be allowed to go home, so I welcomed the interruption.
I looked down and saw that it was a text from a high school buddy. In the last few years he and I have stayed in touch mostly by text, sometimes by phone, rarely face-to-face. But 35 years ago in high school, we were inseparable.
9:21 a.m. – (Text of Funny Cartoon)
9:22 a.m. – “Awesome. Jury duty today. Hope you’re well,” I replied.
I put my phone back in its holster and thought about all we’d done together, good and bad, and what a great friend he is. I looked around the room at the jury pool and wondered how many great friends each of them might have.
Not many, was my guess.
Shortly thereafter, something that never happens at jury duty happened. All cases were settled and every potential juror was released. What started out as a morning I had dreaded was turning out much better than expected.
With my $6 in hand, I made my way back to my car, got in, and drove into the rest of my day.
3:56 p.m. – “Want to drink a cup of coffee with me?”
3:56 p.m. – “Where are you?”, I responded.
3:57 p.m. – “IHOP”
My buddy doesn’t even live in Texas, yet he’d been texting me all day from my own area, where he had patiently waited to contact me a second time when he thought I might be out of jury duty.
3:57 p.m. – “On my way.”
His job requires him to travel all over the US and he’d had a layover about 45 minutes away, so he contacted me. I was pleased that he did. The last time we’d visited in person was about five years ago.
We went through two hours and a lot of caffeine fairly quickly. We talked about our adventures, our successes, our failures and our futures. We discussed our families and our careers, and the paths that led to them. We laughed at times. We were serious at times.
And just as suddenly as our impromptu gathering had come together, it ended.
I had to get back home, and so did he. He was anxious to see his wife and I wanted to go home and see mine.
We tipped the waiter and went back to our lives.
As I drove home, I thought about what makes a good friendship and how one lasts for four decades.
It’s pretty simple, really. It’s the ability for one party to just pick up the last conversation you had five years ago, right where it left off.
©2014 John Moore