My best friend’s birthday is tomorrow. He’s turning thirty-something.
We became best friends when we were living together in Chicago, aeons ago, in a broken down three-flat on the edge of the good part of town. Nine months after I moved in he moved out of the house and out of town. I thought for sure that was the last I’d see of him. That’s the way it was with people who left town at that time. But I was wrong.
Now we see each other every Thanksgiving and fourth of July, and for a few days in the summer if we’re lucky. We’ve given up roommates and broken down rentals and are living comfortably with the people we expect to spend the rest of our life with. Our lives have diverged at every possible path. By all odds there should be nothing left of our relationship. And yet every month, like clockwork, I get a call.
I’ll call tomorrow, of course. We’ll talk like pirates, because Talk like a Pirate Day was just the other day. And then we’ll talk about the old times; stories of the three flat and the work we did in Chicago and the people who left town before us and after us. It will feel good, like a deep breath. That’s what best friends are for.