This past year has seen an inordinate number of house guests as if all my friends were taking advantage of the opportunity to see me one final time before I am permanently relegated by shovel to a six-foot buffer zone.
It is true that Parkinson’s is advancing more quickly, but not sufficiently swift enough to make this the year of my final tour. So, dear friends, don’t line up quite yet to spit on my grave. As my coffee cup—a gift from a like-humored son—says, “I ain’t dead yet motherfuckers.”
I’ve always gathered solidly reliable friends from a vast pool of past foibles, inspiring me to be thankful for each cadre of chums and their off-color humor, loyalty, and adventurous spirits of goodwill. The mutual trait that stands out in all of them is an innate humility knowing that they rent their lives on this earth, which is subject to recall without notice or explanation.
Once you accept that little pearl as a central life tenet, things begin to flow in an easy repartee of effortless joy alongside daily routine.
Some of the more notable friends’ labels include Navy flying buddies, New York dive pals from the 80’s when we used to dive the wreck of the Andrea Doria on air and did lots of other stupid shit, and my boating compadres from the marina.
My college friends are still aware of the details of tumultuous tomfoolery that I can’t even remember occurring. High school mates from Athens, Greece, and New York are still a part of my life, and Washington State dive companions met while searching for the lost Intruder round out the major groups. Countless individual comrades in chicanery, who defy special label status, share with me an extended middle finger at life’s resolute seriousness.
Emerging from nature’s sewer to take audience, I love all my friends and hold them in the esteemed regard customarily reserved for a rat eating a Happy Meal. I’m damn fortunate to have met each of my friends in this uncertain world and to have this opportunity for a final romp of revelry that takes us nowhere.
Blessed beyond words, me-thinks a commemorative t-shirt is in order. What the hell? You only live once.