Text message exchange from last night – 6:15 p.m.:
ALAN: I just landed in Frisco.
DAN: Never use the word Frisco in any communication with me ever again.
DAN: Just keep your butt covered after Monster Park!
One of my best friends Alan (more like a brother than anyone else in my life except my friend Nick in Santa Fe) was in San Francisco tonight, so since we hadn’t seen each other for five years, we had a sit-down dinner and just caught up. How nice it was. Do you remember the end of Stand By Me when the Richard Dreyfuss character wrote “the best friends you ever have are the friends when you were 12?” Such a great line. It is so true.
It may sound cliche, but the old adage that with good friends you can pick up where you left off (sometimes years before) is certainly true. Within minutes, we were making fun of our childhood friends. We were remembering the time I dove into an icy Maine lake at a friend’s party in March (there was still ice floating on the lake) to attempt a APB on my lost wallet (it was on the kitchen counter in the house). Later that night, as I drove my Pontiac Firebird home wrapped in nothing but a blanket, Alan asked me to pull over so he could throw up on the side of the road. An hour later, we were all busted by our other best friend’s father who had opened up the basement door only to find all three of us pissing together into the floor drain.
Tonight upon Alan’s arrival – 7:35 p.m.
“You have a beard – where did that come from?” he asked tonight as he entered. No hellos and barely a hug into the evening we started dissing on each other.
My response: “Puberty – you remember that?”
Never has a line rung so true. The top photo was taken in August 1984 just before I went off to Dartmouth. I almost look at my 18-year-old image in shock. So much has changed since then. So much. It’s amazing to sit with Alan — both of us full-grown men – he, the father of three with an awesome wife – me, not so much. But’s that okay.
Note my tan arms and white face – I drove a tractor on my dad’s farm all that summer outside shirtless – with only sunscreen on my face. I have not been that tan since…and that tan will come back to haunt me, I’m sure.
After too much wine and steak, we headed home to look at photos and dug up these gems. I determined we had to take a comparison shot tonight. There you have it.
Alan, thanks for stopping by. It made my year. And, yes, I really needed it.
And one last shot of Alan with my infamous Firebird. We were so fucking ’80s. The Reagan years rocked.