It always feel strange when you run into old friends on the street. It’s usually the same routine. You hug one another, ask how everyone is doing, and then you exchange numbers and say you are going to call but you don’t. Time and circumstances have a way of separating people. There was a time when I spent more time around a certain group of friends than I did around my own family. Friendships that have that kind of bond or often stronger than blood relatives because you are together by choice. When it was this far into the holiday season we would be in and out of one another’s houses all the time. Everybody would be up all night drinking, eating, and playing games. We bought one another’s family gifts for Christmas. We even all had our Saints season tickets together.
I can remember when Gabby was born and there was so many people in the room at the hospital that I thought the nurse was going to kick them out. People were sitting along the wall just hanging out and having a good time right in the maternity ward. I also remember lighting the grill at night and drinking moonshine my boy got from his neighbor. The orange color from the charcoal used to make these fools so excited that they wanted to go to the store at 2AM to find something to put on it so they wouldn't waste the fire. Those were good times. I thought things were going to stay that way for a long time. Then the water came and flooded the city. Some people came back and others didn’t. Some people held it together and other folks changed. Today most of the people I am talking about barely speak or see one another. There’s no bad blood involved. I love everybody and if someone needed me right now I would be there. It’s just that we are all on different paths now.
A few years ago thinking about stuff like this used to depress me. What made it worse is that I used to think because I was having such a difficult time dealing with how much things changed that I didn’t do enough to keep everyone together. These days I don’t think that’s true. I think it was just a great period in my life that I can remember fondly. I’m only 36 but I have had a few periods like that involving different people and they were all cool in their own way. As time goes on there will probably be more. If there aren’t anymore that may be cool because then that’s less people to think about and hope they are doing okay until you run into them again.
Thinking like this is one of the side effects of the holiday season.