Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Blue Jay

Out of the clear blue, an old friend called me up to say he was coming to Boston this weekend. I've written about him in the past. He was one of my beautiful friends, beside which I was nearly invisible at nightclubs and on our co-ed dormitory floor. Now he is engaged, and was here to visit with her family.

My wife doesn't like Jay, because he did this once before when we lived in San Francisco, but never showed. My wife wanted me to go with her to visit her Grandfather, who died soon after the visit. I stayed home and waited for Jay instead. She doesn't like him for other reasons. If you read about him, you will most likely understand.

It's like I told her before going out to see him, and several times after. My past is important to me. And what is harder to explain, is that despite all his faults--his ego, his selfishness, his need to be the alpha dog in our relationship--he was my friend. I could never sell that to my wife, and I understand how she sees it. I suppose any self-respecting person would see it her way too. But you had to be there.

You had to see what I was.

His fiance was just what I expected, and nothing like I expected at all. I expected her to be beautiful, and she was. But she was sweet, and quite moved when I told the story of how I met my wife. When we parted, she hugged me and said I was the highlight of her trip to Boston.

In many ways, Jay has found his opposite.

Jay looked the same, and nothing like he did before. I had a hard time seeing the young man that the ladies all swooned for. He still had his hair, but it was slightly disheveled. The old Jay was quite sharp and overly conscious of his appearance. He seemed slightly stooped with age, and his face, once smooth and perfect, was wrinkled and sagging just a bit.

He thinks I still look young. I thought he was just being nice, but when I look at my face in the mirror, in contrast to what he sees when he looks in his, maybe I can understand what he means. I'm not young anymore; nor do I look it. But I have aged gracefully. I'm not a sad reflection of what I used to be, though when I do see my old photos, I wonder why I had such a problem with my looks.

It was maturity that kept me from realizing any early potential. Jay helped me work through some of my issues. He wasn't perfect himself by any stretch, but he once told me, when I was on the verge of socking him in the eye, to stop being like my father. You're a better man than he is.

I reminded him that he told me that. His fiance kissed him when she heard this, and told me with no small amount of pride, that the people he manages at work would kill for him.


Jada's Gigi said...

How nice to reconnect with old friends...it is strange though...like looking into some science fiction mirror where if we try real hard we can see the shadow of the person we used to know...

Kathleen said...

It's nice when old friends turn out better than we remember them.

I was expecting a football post - I'm so sorry the pathetic Lions beat the Cowboys. Not that I'm sorry for the Cowboys but because for the 3rd year in a row the dumbass Lions blew the first draft pick by winning the last game.

Beth said...

Re-connecting with old friends is my version of a modern nightmare. Good or bad, I want nothing to do with the friends of my youth -- except my husband, of course. It would drive me mad if my husband weren't the same way. I probably would have left him. Isn't that terrible?

Still, I do marvel at people who want to keep reconnecting with the past. I just loved the day I left all that behind. Loved like the first chocolate shake of the summer. =)

Toni Anderson said...

Some friends are worth holding onto despite not being perfect.

Glad you are aging gracefully ;)

jenbeauty said...

Good friends are worth it in the long run!

*smooch* and I am alive Scott. You are still one of my favorite bloggers and I am glad you are keeping up with it.