Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What Pals Do in Their Down Time

My friend, Rob, and I have lately got into the habit of addressing and signing various monikers in our correspondence. For instance, I will write an email, beginning "Dear Kevin," and following the body of text, sign off as "Mr. Costner," or something like that. It's rather pointless and there's no existential meaning to these name games, but then there's no reason either to discuss the top musicians of a given name (e.g. "Mick(ey)" in declining significance: Mick Jagger, Mick Jones, Mick Taylor, Mickey Dolenz, Mickey Moonlight), but we do that too.
        Between us, of course, much inner life has been put on the table, tales of love and loss, of best days and worst failures, talking through disasters until perspective is achieved and so is the realization that things will turn out all right in the end. Nevertheless, being friends is not just about sorting through the deeper issues of being alive, but of the smaller ones as well. There are potentially decent banalities, peculiar ones that only certain kindred spirits can parse.
         In this photograph, the scab on his right shoulder is a burn mark. The day before, sometime after midnight, we'd gone block sprinting to see who was fastest, but he'd been smoking a cigarette while high-stepping and paid for it.  It was more than a year ago-- I can't say for sure but I'm pretty sure I won that brief contest. As for Rob, I never asked him specifically, but maybe occasionally glancing in the mirror he recognizes the faint outline of the consequential scar, remembering it had been arguably detrimental sprinting with a lit cigarette, but hell, worth it.      

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