Time with Friends

January 5, 2018

Funny little vacation. We went to Vegas because two of my best friends live there and I saved enough last year to visit them. While the one friend we stayed with has known me and Sophia for at least 14 years, the other friend I wanted to see has been my best friend since freshman year of high school some 34 years. When we were both about 35, I bought us both tickets to Vegas to celebrate 20 years of friendship and our birthdays. It was a formative trip—despite constantly getting lost while driving—and it impacted him enough to move there when he left NYC. However I never realized how much that trip impacted me until I got there with Sophia.

A lot of the places we went to 14 years ago are gone, and the strips have changed enormously. I know this because I kept telling Sophia about it every place we went, and wouldn’t shut up. I’d talk about all the things we did, the places we went, and where they used to be. When we did meet up with Will, it was like old times for both of us, except for meeting Sophia for the first time, and we got a local’s eye view of the area.

But going to Red Rocks Canyon sealed it for me. Originally, I was going to take Sophia to either the Grand Canyon or Zion National park. When I realized it was four to five hours traveling time to get there and back, it was going to be Zion. When I woke up with the cold my daughter had and I was fighting to keep from getting, Red Rocks was a happy substitute. Will and I went to Red Rocks that trip 14 years ago. It was fun—eventually, in time. We hopped around a bunch of the rocks on one of the trails, then got seriously dehydrated and delirious trying to hike back to the car without water. This time I made sure we had extra water and not stay out in the sun too long.

A lot of ghosts were playing with my head as Sophia and I hit a short trail further up from where Will and I were years before. I was so happy to be climbing on rocks and steppes with her, more cautiously in my age but still out of both our comfort zones. I could feel the past reverberating through th present, very conscious that I was reliving an old adventure with a new partner in tow. Reminiscing made the new time even more special.

When the New Year rolled around on the West Coast, I was saturated with nostalgia. I used to always go to New Years with the friend I was staying with in Vegas, but this would be our first New Years together in at least 5 years. Getting both of them together for the first time in person, even though they’ve been Facebook friends for years, was a real trip. Two friends I’ve spent many times together with my daughter welcoming a new future. Rarely do past, present, and future intersect so vividly and I hope we have more like them.



Dear M,

Hi. I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked/texted/emailed/communicated at all, and I wanted to apologize for that. Actually I want to apologize for a lot of things, the biggest is being a lousy friend. That didn’t start immediately after we broke up, but soon enough.

I know we weren’t together for all that long, but the break up stunned me. Even after talking to death about it–how you weren’t ready for a relationship, how we both wanted different things, how we were better of as friends–it’s not something I wanted. But if I pushed harder I’d lose you as a friend. So I talked myself into staying a friend even though I wanted to be more. But even that was, to be brutally honest, cynical on my part, because somewhere in the back of my mind (the reptilian part I pretend I don’t have), I was hoping you’d “change your mind” and take me back. There was a flicker of hope that kept me going and kept up a “friendship.”

I think I was angry that you got over thing so quickly and I was stuck. You lived your life, and I couldn’t go forward. You got married, had kids, look even better now than you did 15 years ago, and I only grew bitter. That wasn’t your fault, but I resented you like it was. Still, to be your “friend” meant ignoring my feelings; so I did and blamed you for it. I became the jerk I was trying not to be.

That changed recently. I was driving a delivery when a song I never heard before came on the indie station. It was “If I Loved You” by Delta Rae. Great song and the final chorus got me bad:

“But I don’t love you much as I want to
I don’t love you, no it would be a lie
And you deserve love, you’re better than a good day
And you’ll find it but just not in my eyes
‘Cause it ain’t here love…”

It’s simple, powerful and everything you were saying to me 15 years ago but I didn’t want to hear.  It finally sunk in and yeah I get it. I was angry for stupid reasons fueled only by my own ego, and held you responsible for nothing that you did. I’m sorry I’ve been such an asshole and sullen and resentful and not considering your feelings. You deserve better that my attitude and I’m truly sorry for that.

I hope you can forgive me for all this, but (I finally realize) that is your decision.


While visiting my mom last weekend, she was on the phone with her friend Gil. My mom is voting for Clinton as she’s afraid of a Turnip presidency–which I get to a point–and Gil is too. They were both trying to get me to do the same, but I was for Bernie before (my mom was too) and now that he’s out I’m voting for Stein.

All weekend, my mom is watching Turnip drown in his own filth on numerous news channels; I’m avoiding it to maintain my sanity. As I now hear her talking to Gil on the phone, I decide to say hi.

Me: Tell Gil I said hi and I’m still voting for Stein.
Mom: David says hi.

That’s pretty much this whole election run-up in a nutshell.

Day 4 of my positivity challenge. On Facebook, I spend five days listing five things you are grateful for each day and tag three people to do the same. I’m enjoying this though it can be daunting for some topics. Overall pretty good.

  1. Jolene C.: I am one of those rare people who is unlucky in cards and love. A lot of my relationships were with the wrong person—emotionally and psychologically—because that’s what I tend to attract, and get hurt big time. Those that were good people for me I wound up sabotaging or pushing them away because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I probably hurt them (and later on me). Other times I break my own heart thinking something might go somewhere but they don’t think of me in that way, which also hurts. Every time I think I’m destined to not be with anyone, I’m reminded that I did have one relationship that worked for a short while. I met Jolene online while in grad school and we dated for about a year. It was long distance but we did get together for a couple of weeks over he summer in her home state of Ohio. It came at a time when I was already wounded from a relationship from years before and it was one that did heal me. It was sweet, caring, communicative, honest, and something I can aspire to in a relationship. We broke up amicably but we lost touch years ago. I know she’s married now with three kids, and I hope she’s happy. I’m grateful for that time with her because it gives me some hope for the future; that I’m not completely hopeless and if I was able to manage a relationship once before, I can do it again.
  2. Classic rock music: I was born in ’69 and pretty much missed everything in terms of good rock music. When I found my dad’s vinyl copy of Meet The Beatles, I was pretty much hooked. I got my friends into them as well and that was pretty much the end for me musically. I got hooked on Jimi Hendrix listening to Third Stone From the Sun on WNEW radio in NYC sleep deprived and somewhere in between asleep and awake—probably the best way to experience Jimi. My cousin got me hooked on Skynard listening to his tape of Street Survivors—with the flames on the cover—down in my dad’s basement. My default music is anything 12-bar blues based rock from the ’60s and ’70s. The Who, Cream, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, The Clash, The Ramones, The Undertones, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, Bad Brains, Joe Jackson and Carlos Santana are all on my playlists in one form or another. I’m completely out of touch with any pop songs from the ’80s on, and I’m really grateful for that musical education.
  3. I’m a Liberal: Yeah, I said it. Fuck you all who think it’s a bad thing. I’m on the side of the Minutemen (the 1776-78 guys, not the militia now), abolitionists, suffragettes, feminists, civil rights marchers, gay rights advocates, union workers, environmentalists, no-nukes advocates, free thinkers, progressives, forward thinkers, accepting, welcoming, and tolerant people. I have no problem being that and grateful that I can proudly stand up for those beliefs.
  4. Type II Diabetes: Actually I’m not grateful for this, but I am grateful that I don’t have Type I. I am grateful all I have to do for the time being is monitor my carbs and starches, exercise and take a pill. No daily insulin shots or constant monitoring right now. I need to step up what I need to do but I’m in a better position to do so than I was a year ago.
  5. Pinocchio’s Pizza: Growing up in New York City has taught me a lot, including how GOOD pizza is supposed to taste like. I’ve had gourmet pizza too, but I’m talking about the kind in a shop off of St. Marks Street or in Brooklyn Heights you get on the go. I also learned the greatness that is the Sicilian pizza: square, thick dough, lots of cheese and sauce. Growing up in New York has also made me realize other cities don’t do pizza very well; and VERY few actually make Sicilian slices at all. I am glad that I found a little gem around Harvard called Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs. They almost specialize in Sicilian slices—they’re cheaper on the menu and come in more varieties than the regular slices—and they do them well. I still love Original Ray’s, but in Boston this is as good as pizza gets. I’m grateful I found where to get the good stuff up here.

And we are now officially grasping for straws…