Friends Change

I Still Talk to Her, Even if She Can't Hear Me Anymore

I departed on my journey inspired by the dreams of friends I made when my soul was still younger than spring. These were big dreamers. I had scrawny dreams. They weren’t even dreams, they were practical considerations, they didn’t contain ambitions, they were solutions to anxieties. I thought I’d adjust my aim so I wouldn’t be too inconvenienced by trying to do more than the world was likely going to allow. But, really I didn’t have my sights set too high when I met my buddies from high school. I wasn’t doing anything so artistically advanced as these two powerhouses unless nothing adds up to much of anything. It is amusing what you can do with 15,000 days in your life once you decide to do something with them. I got to it. Joined the Royal Lichtenstein Circus for a spell, mounted my first production and toured the United States as the Harlequin Street Theater, went solo and worked under my god given moniker, got a dog and named the act Dana Smith and His Performing Dog Sunshine, and then she passed and got another dog a decade later named Lacey. Wore her out and retired her. I wrote plays, songs, lyrics, poems, magazine articles, eventually one and then two novels. I’ve been hard at all these years. Been married, divorced and remarried. Happy as a husband can be. I’ve got a kid in college. I’m doing shows still, trying to get my second novel sold, and plotting the next one, Hot Spring Honeymoon. I still see my friends. We talk now and then. Some come on out and sail with me. But, we’ve all changed. We all have gone our own ways. Much as I thought we’d all continue to relate to one another, that our stories would somehow continue to feed our bond we sealed in youth with our dreams I’ve come to see that has changed. We’ve all produced different results, different experiences, different obstacles to overcome or not, and eventually
by dent of time I guess it would be honest to say we are not dazzled by one another any longer. What we thought was genius, brilliant, and inspiring all those many decades ago isn’t like that so much now. We just are not fuel for each others passions any longer. Sometimes one of my old friends surprises me and I’ll walk that last comment back, but more often than not what passes for encouragement between friends isn’t much more than a mundane service being rendered by a friend struggling to relate to what new work they’ve found by circumstances into witnessing. Seems odd to my mind, but truth goes where it goes. Turns out a stranger interested in fiction makes a better reader and provides a more pertinent reaction than a long time friend who isn’t much interested in fiction and by duty is forced to encounter material they would by
any other circumstance avoid. There’s only so far any of us can go, even in the service of old dreams, and old friends, and old promises we made to ourselves. Still, doesn’t change the fact I still love those old friends, just find much of what we have in common has changed.

Bankrupt Heart                                                  The Novel

Lenny laughed, “She’s a whirling dervish, a Tasmanian devil, part coyote and a
bonafide wild ride,” Lenny paused, mood shifted, smile vanished, turned and
looked at Ry. “I’m heading north, have plans to be in the Puget Sound this
summer, Jackie’s going to need her friends, someone she can spend time with,”

            “I can understand that, look forward
to seeing her anytime,” Ry said.

            “I was talking to her few nights
ago,” Lenny was trying to explain his arrival, his behavior, “I said that I
didn’t know what was going to happen when I got here, didn’t know how I’d feel,
what reaction I was going to have.”

            Ry looked at Lenny, wanted to hear
what he thought. “What do you think?”

            “I think it isn’t what I expected.”
Lenny said. “The first time is never like the next time. Five years is a long
time to be away, things change, it’s not that she’s so different, or that I am,
just that things are, the world is.”

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