Wednesday, January 13, 2010

To get? Or, not to get? That is the question.

A dear friend told me today that he is not sure he really 'gets' me, but that he is getting closer. It has just taken him a while longer ruminating over the whats and whys that make me, me ... than with others. Which surprises me. And doesn't. I am not easy to 'get'. Or, get.

My friend is one of the most brilliant, perceptive people I know. Hands down. His humor quirky, his intellect deep, his sense of adventure intact. A refined Alec Baldwin. Bad boy meets Winston Churchill. But like me, he's a bit shaky in his boots. Slightly out of sync with our peers. Our traditional but unconventional sensibilities aligned. I hold my cards very close to my vest. Very. I do not let my guard down totally. Neither does he. So I get it.

We have been friends for five years. Off and on depending on the season, how the wind blows, what else is going on in our lives, the fullness of our pocketbooks, our weight. When we are not in contact, I miss him dreadfully. When we are together, I am oft overwhelmed. Does he 'get' me? Scarily so. Then one of us pushes away from the pool side and paddles off goggles blinding the peripheral view swimming to shallower, safer waters. No periscope. No rear-view mirror.

But it's okay. We reconnect. Always do. Our parallel lives intersecting at some alien juncture. No rhyme. No reason. Just the passing of an appropriate amount of time.

It's funny how we met that first time. Two over-education, under-employed fifty-somethings relocated from bright lights, big city for different reasons, at different times to the same New England town on the coast. I was a no-show at the port side sports bar for our inaugural rendez-vous and the final game of the World Series. Way out of my zone. The nearly all-male patronage clinking long neck bottles of brew and slapping each other on the ass. Not my vibe. One glance at the scene inside those steamed up windows swirling with testosterone and I scurried back to my car. Fast. No brass ones here!

So my dear friend and I met a few weeks later. Same bar. Baseball season over; basketball barely begun. We shared mussels, a Caesar's salad and wine, sophisticated SITC 1980s misadventures, outlook on life. Talked through the evening, bar hopping. Closed the high-tony bistro on the marsh swilling drinks boasting garnishes ... a lime for him and my three olives ... piano-side. Our friendship launched that night a half decade ago. Spirited discussions of clothing ventures melding my strategic business savvy with his marketing genius. Driving throughout the region to anywhere and nowhere exploring. Planning jaunts to Savannah ... and to England to quench his things for all things Anglophile. Tailgating at my son's Ivy League college, Crimson Punch flowing from the spigots in red plaid Skotch Koolers. Platonic sailing into and out of each other's harbors over the years.

It has been a year. Thirteen months actually. My path is once again intersecting with my MadMan's. There are blanks to fill in. I's to dot. T's to cross. Color outside the lines. So my dear friend, slower is better. There is plenty of time. What's not to get?

Cheers ... until tomorrow!

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