My friend, Ken Doyle, called me today. We spoke for about an hour or so. Hadn’t spoken in over a year. Though life continues to fly by, we have that sort of time-lapse relationship that enables us to pick up where we left off.
Ken and I met in college. We can’t identify the exact place we met, but feel sure it was in a living room at a sorority. Which sorority house is open to question.
Though we were in different fraternities at University of Arizona (Sigma Nu-Ken and Alpha Kappa Lambda-me), we became the closest of friends… Sometimes to the consternation of our fraternity brothers. As social chairs of our respective houses, we organized a massive block party with 16 fraternities and sororities. Everybody ‘played well together’. Cool…
Our first trip to Las Vegas, shortly after my 21st birthday is an all-time milestone. I promptly transferred there to take summer classes.
Ken moved to San Francisco to start his professional career. I visited him once, there, and moved the next year. Unfortunately, he had relocated the Greater Washington DC area, to further a career in Association Management. My move led me to 26 years in San Francisco, and ultimately back to Las Vegas. Odd how things like that can work.
We’ve seen each other through weddings and divorces, through happiness and challenges, and into new long lasting second relationships. This week has been a challenging one for me… and having a conversation with Ken, just hearing his voice, calmed me. It always returns us to simpler times.
Life and friendship seem to run in cycles. People come and go throughout the phases of one’s life. In some rare cases, like Ken, they come, and they never go. Whatever the hiatus or changes, the relationship is unbroken.
Outside your family, you have a few really close friends. People who you can share any thought with, or jump to your aid, without hesitating for a moment. We promised to call and text more often, and not let so much time pass, this time. We do that sometimes, but we never complain about it.
I am just fortunate to have such a good friend in my world. Today, I needed him. Another day, he might need me. We don’t keep score. Really good friends are like that.
My mom always told me she liked Ken best of all my friends. Sounded like a line from Tommy Smothers, but I understood her perfectly. And here he and I are, almost 40 years later. I’d say she was a good judge of character.
If you have an old friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. Don’t be embarrassed. Just pick up the phone. They were probably thinking about calling you, too. Before long, the passage of time seems largely irrelevant.
First-Generation New Yorker