A couple nights ago, I spent an evening shooting the poop with my best friends. I can’t remember the last time that many of us were all in the same place at the same time.
We hadn’t seen one of the boys in over six years.
A couple of the guys were leaving town the next morning, which, along with the real desire to catch up, made it important to rearrange schedules, get babysitters, and finally all sit down together.
We gathered in one friend’s incredible man cave… that we basically had to ask his teen-aged daughter for permission to use. We flopped down on couches and chairs, next to an impressive pool table that we forgot to get around to using.
Five of us have been friends since we were five years old. Another couple joined our merry band of scoundrels in high school.
The night was amazing.
At one point in the evening, before the last straggler joined us, I realized I was the only single person there.
And it was weird.
Back in the day, if we took bets on who would be married first, I suspect most would have put their money on me.
The serial monogamist.
I forgot about it as the stories turned to our many adventures. Some of our exploits have grown in the years since they occurred.
And some things were conveniently forgotten.
“Oh fuck… I forgot that we did that!”
We laughed a lot.
We talked over each other with forgotten details.
Then we laughed more.
The group in the room evolved repeatedly as the night went on. Smokes were snuck on the deck. Rented beer was returned frequently. Phones stole attention. (Mostly mine.)
We celebrated, and then bashed, those who weren’t there, as only good friends can.
We thanked Zuckerberg that we’re not in college now, with Facebook there to record the sketchiness.
We all went to college in the same city. All but one of us went to the same school. Together. There was no shortage of stories.
And while the Bro Code says I can’t share any of these stories, if someone had come up with a drinking game that required a shot for each mention of “stripper,” stomachs would have had to have been pumped.
(Even as I type this, one of the guys just emailed me from our college city. He took his daughter there for the first time. He sent me a photo of a house that four of us lived in. I replied, “It got old!”)
One guy had to bail at our planned time to disperse, as he had to work a few hours later. I think some of us thought briefly about calling it a night. But another story was started.
Then more laughing until we could barely catch our breaths.
As the big hand circumnavigated again and again, we closed windows and sliding doors, to save the neighbours from the din.
Until finally we had to call it a night and wander out into the dark, a little too loudly for our surroundings.
As it was in our heydey, I was the sober driver. Dudes were delivered home in the order of who was most likely to find a kid at home refusing to go to bed.
The reminiscing continued, as the yellow line sped by.
As I dropped the last of the fellas off, we made plans to do more things as a group this summer. And we will.
Driving home, with my phone battery completely spent from exchanging messages that gave me a smile no one seemed to notice, Imagine Dragons’ “On Top of the World” played and I was in a good mood.
I got home at 1:30 am. I chuckled about how many of our best stories started after that hour.
I plugged in my phone, waiting for it to gather a little bit of a charge. I let clothes stay wherever they landed. I grabbed a drink of water and collapsed on top of my bed.
Window open. Ceiling fan on. They were working together to send a breeze across my skin.
My mind was busy as I tried to get comfy.
I reflected on the night. A group of friends, who some might say found each other strictly because of geography, still fit. Maybe better than expected.
I thought about being the only single one. About the advice I received for how to remedy that “problem.” About the plans some of us made for the summer. Of the things we did in college. Of the things we didn’t do in college, but should have. Of friendship. Of how I would give any of those old fuckers a kidney.
Distance and time did little to dull the magic.
The real thing is the real thing.
We should all do more to embrace it.
I was wide awake.
My phone finally let me power it back up.
I sent a message and hoped.
The reply came.
The phone glow lit my smile, as sleep slipped in from around the edges.