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Auld Lang Syne

Hey Kids, Skippy here with yet again. You know it's been awhile since we visited. Seems like the times we spend together are getting fewer and farther between. I suppose I could try and explain to you why that is. I could tell you that work is taking up more of my hours or that I have an actual relationship that requires maintenance. But really why bother? All you care about is that you aren't getting your monthly dose of wisdom and all I care about is that I feel an era slipping away from me.

Things are changing in my life. Actually things have been changed for quite awhile and I'm just now waking up to it. A part of my life is passing into mist and I am not real happy to see it go. It was a good part of my life and I will miss it. It formed the way I see things and it changed what I believe and it made me who I am. For all those reasons and quite a few more I will mourn its passing. By the same token I am looking forward to the next phase. It will be different and I am sure it will contain its fair share of trauma, but over all it will be good. That doesn't quite keep me from approaching with apprehension the transition, but it does enable me to make it.

That sort of plays into my thoughts that I want to share this time around. I've been doing quite a bit of thinking lately. Well not actually thinking, but reminiscing, which in a pinch can double as thought. I've been remembering some of the people in my life that aren't there any longer. Now I know that you probably think I am talking about women, and in some instances I am. But I'm not talking about ex-girlfriends or ex-fiancees, though they do take a certain portion of the memory banks. No, I am talking about friends, or at least those that I felt were friends at the time. Maybe we were and maybe we weren't, but I do feel poorer for not having them in my life.

I remember my friend Rick, his real name was Preston, bur we called him Rick just the same. Can you blame us? We were friends when I was a child and we did the normal childhood things together. We played war and dreamed dreams and later on discovered the joys of recreational drug use together. He was a wonderful artist and a true freak and I loved him. We made the mistake of trying to sustain a childhood friendship into adulthood and we both paid the price. Then I found the woman who I thought meant the rest of my life and it was pretty much over for Rick and I. He sent me a nasty letter and I wrote a nasty one in response. I never mailed mine, but still I wrote it and that was enough. I haven't heard from him in over a decade and I miss him sometimes. I still have the artwork for a couple of comic book characters we were going to create. I look at them sometimes and think about Rick and I hope he's doing OK.

My first friend after high school was Dave, no the other Dave. We met in the Air Force and eventually became roommates. We were going to open a bar/comic bike store/bike shop and give books and bikes to the neighborhood kids and become those cool guys that all the kids liked. Dave was the perfect roommate in that pretty much no matter what you wanted to do he was amenable. You want to hang out watch scrambled porn? Dave's your guy. You want to drive up to Yosemite and look at trees for half an hour and then immediately turn around and come back because you both have to work in eight hours? Dave already has the car packed. You want to circle the entire San Francisco bay in order to avoid paying the toll to come back across the bay bridge? Dave is up for that. You want to piss and moan and generally be impossible to be around for nearly a year because your high school sweetheart dumped you? Dave is there with a bottle of booze, a ready ear and none of the platitudes that drive the newly dumped to homicide. In fact, Dave was the best friend I had in my early twenties. Then I met the once and future and Dave and I went our separate ways. Last I heard he was in Virginia. I think of Dave occasionally and I wish the best for him.

And of course there were so many others. There was DJ, who was bound and determined to be an actor. I still scan the credits looking for his name. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to see it someday. I remember Barry, one of the first people in my neighborhood to get HBO. I would sleep over at his house and we would sneak down to watch soft-core at 3 in the morning. Jay had the fastest Dodge Dart on the planet. We used to take it out and race Camaros with it and usually beat them. We double dated for the Junior prom in his mom's Sentra. We wound up playing miniature golf with our dates. Well what do you want? It was the Junior prom. Then there was Rich and his brother. I worked for Rich one summer till he wrecked his motorcycle and couldn't be my boss any longer. Scott was another friend that suffered a motor vehicle accident. He nearly died, but he came back, funny and carefree as ever.

I'm sure that I could sit here for hours and bore you all to tears with stories about people that I called my friends and the things that we did. To be honest I'm not entirely certain of why I've felt the need to tell you all that I have. I guess I just felt that it should be written down somewhere that you are always leaving an impression on people and that those people don't forget just because you aren't around any longer. That maybe the least these folks deserve is for me to say that they all had an impact on me and that at one time or another I've missed them all. If I can give you one bit of advice (and that is the business I am in). It would be this, tell your friends why you care, you never know when you'll next have the chance.

signed, Skippy
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