Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Me and a Professional Writer!

I suppose it is impossible to have dinner at age 43 with someone you first ate with at age 7 and not think about the trajectories of life and the decisions we make that set those compass points.  One of the unconscious decisions I made very, very early on-perhaps over another meal, most likely involving Salisbury Steak and a half pint of chocolate milk-was to have the highest quality friends possible.  This has always served me well, and become a central feature of my life, its importance underscored this week, when the first word I'd received in months from a member of my generally estranged family was an automated notice they had unsubscribed to this blog's RSS feed.

I didn't even know I could get those notices.

On days when it becomes clear your family has moved beyond "We're not close" into the realm where deleting unread email updates becomes unsupportable effort, reminders of the family one picks up while plying those trajectories above are welcome.  This picture is such a reminder.  The chances I would be standing next to Mike this year, that we would even know how to get in touch with each other, were slim enough to render this bizarre, and has required at least two or three pieces of random luck.  Of course, he's a newspaper editor and columnist in Dallas now, so he's a bit easier to find, but when his family moved in 4rth grade, I was pretty sure I'd never see him again.
We've had very different lives, set very courses for ourselves, but I was amazed how easy it was to spend time together.  Of course, we were still trying to get milk to spew out of each other's nose, but I think thats a sign of...youthful vigor.  More importantly, we were able at this age to crack open the code of silence of our Perfect Suburban Youth and compare notes on the worlds of two 7 year-olds that perhaps made a 35+ year bond, however tenuous, inevitable.
So, here's to family portraits.