A few weeks ago a buddy of mine asked me if I would like some company on my porch. And before I knew what I was saying I said “Sure Irv sounds good. Just remember, you can’t smoke my last cigar and I may break out in song and dance at anytime during the evening’s festivities and if I do, you are obligated to join me.” To my surprise he agreed to my terms.
We picked a date, right in the middle of the heat wave that has gripped our nation for weeks and he backed out. Just as well, because on that particular night I did celebrate the pagan dance of heat stroke and sweat induced catatonia, which I believed worked. It was a good night for me. As for the rest of the nation, I have no clue. But then Irv called and rescheduled… for the following week and once again I agreed to give up my sanctum sanctorum in order to share time with a fellow traveler on this ball of compressed dirt.
My pal showed up promptly late but in his defense he was laden down with fried chicken and a cooler full of refreshing, frosty beverages which are designed to not just produce a stimulating and sated sense of comfort but also fill a person with a significant “reality is a falsehood” mentality. (God Bless that Pal-O-Mine)
We promptly loaded up his vehicle and went for a ride. A ride in which I knew the end result but he insisted was a surprise. (The curse of brain power) After our scouting mission we returned to the solitude and sanctity of my front porch. Thus commences the conversation… most of which I refuse to reveal to you all here. Simply for the fact that what is said on my porch stays on my front porch. So, if you have any deep, dark, repressed secrets and confessions that beg to be released from your soul, feel free to stop by, and know that your revelations will not go any further than what the crickets in my neighborhood can convey.
The conversation we shared never waned and served us both richly and deeply. Yes, Irv comes from a completely different background than I do. For example, he was raised in the Deep South by a set of parents. I was raised in the north by a broken family. It seems his financial struggles were minimal at best while there were times in my upbringing where I didn’t know if I would eat another meal for days to come. He is college educated and I went to the University of Uncle Sam.
Yes, there are many differences between Irv and I, but there are many similarities as well. Similarities that I just can’t write about right now; which is pretty tough for me since I would love to be able to get some of the codified knowledge of a person whom I respect and like down on paper. But, I feel if I do so it will lessen the bond we have come to share.
You see, and for most of you this will come as no surprise, I don’t like to write too much about the people in my life. Sure, I mention some folks in passing or throw in a minor descriptive blurb about someone I am in contact with but this time I feel it would do a severe injustice to the friendship we have cultivated over these years. And, since you kind folks will most likely never meet Irv for the simple fact that he is more protective over his down time than I am about mine, it just seems to be pointless for me to even try and describe the inner workings of a man who if you meet, you just may underestimate the depth of the person he is because he is wearing a pink shirt, shorts and flip flops while complaining about being eaten alive by mosquitoes. (Damn run on sentences!)
We stayed up late, that night, past my normal bedtime, and talked ceaselessly about the problems in our cities, state and country. As much as I’d like to say we solved the problems we discussed, I can’t. Simply because we both agree that it comes down to an individual’s choice to make their lives successful and right.
The time spent on my porch was truly a gem in my rough and tumble life and I hope and pray for more times like this. Since that night I have opened my porch up to all who wish to sit down and spend some quality time talking, sharing a cigar, good beverages and just enjoying the simple act of communicating in an uninterrupted manner that we seem to have lost in this day and age of high speed communication and 140 character snarks on twitter. I have become less protective of my time alone here and if any of you care to stop by, pull up a camp chair or even sit on the porch swing, please know the porch is open 24 hours for business. And who knows, you may even get lucky and be able to enjoy a beautiful cotton candy sunset over Scott’s Creek.
Have a great week.