Friendships are precious things. My opinion is that one can never have enough friends. But unwatched, time whittles away at friends. Sometimes friends vanish not just into other cities, towns, or countries, they die.
I had four friends when I was growing up. As far as I know they are all still alive. Later, I had one special friend when we were in the Army together. Her name was Ma…Louise Marie. She died in the seventies. College friends from the 1960’s are still with me tho those two are falling away. Before I met these special folks, there was Bobbie.
One day I ran into our local 7/11 to get something, and there was a delightful but angry girl behind the register. She was living with her parents. I, who understood difficult parents, invited her to live with us. Soon we lost our jobs and started college on the GI Bill. I was 28 and she was 18. To pay our rent, we began renting out rooms. Bobbie was our first renter.
Soon, Uncle Wonder-Ray sculpted in the dining room, a sailor rented the first bedroom, Paul and I had another, the kids still another, and Bobbie the last room. The mailman jumped off our roof into the pool every day during the summer. When we moved to Imperial beach in search of cheaper rent, we lost Uncle Wonder-Ray and the sailor, but we picked up a hard core of radicals and other college students to bunk in the garage. Paul and Don started the San Diego Peace and Freedom Party out of our garage.
Bobbie called us a commune. I thought of us as renting out rooms to pay the rent.
Bobbie went away to fly the skies. She married a cruel man in Chicago. Later, she married a kind man in LA. No matter what happened, even through long quiet pauses, we remained friends until drugs and alcohol drove me mad. She backed off then to save her own sanity.
All my friends but one backed away to save themselves.
Today, she’s grown back into my life. She’s that special kind of friend where we can continue right on where we left off in visits, conversations, or calls. I could call her any time as Mikey died; she could call me any time. Now she’s growing on again into a new life. A new quiet love too. He suits her; perhaps her new flamboyance suits him. My quiet person suits me well too.
Do Bobbie and I tell each other everything. I don’t think so. We remain special friends without barriers. I don’t think she has other friends who tease her. I do. She orders me around and pokes me alive. That’s ok too. We talk art, music, theater, movies, travel and art. What more could we ask of this special friendship of 48 years.