Old friends are good friends. You know each other. You know when to joke and chat. Silences illustrate the peace between you. When old friends meet after many many years, there is a period of insecurity. The people you used to share your everyday business with, now know less about you. There is a temptation to say nothing and just study their face for signs of age or mood. The conversation is informative as opposed to casual. We are re-discovering each other. When it’s a group of old friends, it can be more confusing. Little bands of conversation fly randomly. Then someone makes a joke; usually at someone else’s expense . The laughter breaks out and inside we feel a sense of joy and relief. Years haven’t changed us. We may look different, feel different but we still have the qualities which brought us together in the first place.
And there’s always one. Always one, who despite the partying and razzamatazz, looks the same. Richard Harris, Peter O’toole and Richard Burton always complained about Roger Moore, who seemed immune to the signs of cigarettes, whisky and wild wild women. It was George Orwell who mentioned that when a man gets to fifty, he has the face he deserves. My friend Goerge has escaped that particular stigma. I can honestly say that he his history has been as wild as mine. I know. I was there. He may be grouching about a little excess weight but he looks as fit as a butcher’s dog.
It was a good day. I returned to my dad’s to find some ramps in place. But I had forgotten about the little step onto the path. That’s what friends are for. Thank’s to Dave. It was time to watch the football. Dad asked me if I wanted something to eat. After a year of strict dieting, I broke. I asked for a plate of chips. Wow! And the sauce wasn’t even home-made.
The next day it was time to return. I was wondering if the taxi driver could possibly put the ramps out for me when I heard a clanging from downstairs. My dad had done it. He’s eighty-seven and has his own mobility issues. The old bugger had done it himself. The journey was a very smooth affair.
I was chatting to a woman on the train about teaching and the joy of the English language. I even introduced her to the word persiflage. It’s a wonderful word. Then we had a discussion about elegant variation. And I hadn’t even realised how pretentious my T shirt was.
I had promised myself a cold beer, the instant I went through the flat door. Then I saw the carnage from the Friday night. Three hours later, I certainly knew I’d deserved that beer. Tomorrow is more old friend therapy. I’m off to the Isle of Wight. I’m going to have the following weekend at home. Thank-you for reading.