Sunday, January 19, 2020

The Care and Feeding Of Friendship : A How-To Guide For A Boy Of Nineteen

Spend an evening at a redneck bar in rural Vermont with your good friend. Play darts. Shoot pool.  Put quarters in the juke box and sing along to both Hank Williams and Bob Marley. Drink Puerto Rican screwdrivers - one part Bacardi, two parts grapefruit juice. Do this until the gravelly-voiced bartender runs out of bad jokes to tell, and says it’s been a trip, but he needs to close up for the night, and you both need to get the hell out.

Drive home - very slowly - through the snow, in your Olds 98. It's only half a mile, and there's no one else on this rural road, but know that you shouldn't be driving, at all. This is not a great time to provide your friend with her first driving lesson, but you give it a shot. You're both going to live forever, anyhow.

Back at home, wash down two Tylenols and a B12 capsule with a Mason jar full of cold water. Make sure your friend does the same, promising her she'll thank you in the morning. Fill that jar, again, and set it on the table next to your bed, along with an additional dosage of B12, more Tylenol, and a Drum cigarette your friend has rolled for you. She doesn't smoke, but she’s fidgety, and you've taught her how to roll the perfect cigarette, to keep her hands busy.

In the morning, wake up and immediately reach for the jar of water, the Tylenol, the vitamin. Light up the Drum and go to the kitchen, where your friend, who is an early riser, has a pot of coffee waiting.

Sit on the couch together.



Drink lots of strong, black coffee.


Marvel at how good you both feel.

Sit with the unspoken truth that life will never be much sweeter than it is at this moment.

No comments: