Friday, May 8, 2009

The grey van...

That's how every story started, with the grey van, and they were good stories -- are good stories still. We were young when we met but not oh-so young, not pre-school classmates young or the kind of young that fills photo albums with faded polaroids of childhood vacations. No, it was more the young men kind of young, not young boys. It was young enough that although we wanted to be older we still had no concept of age.

I think I met John in the 7th grade, when I flipped schools maybe, or it could have been via hockey but even so it could have only been a year or two earlier. Either way we met just when the best friends of your life tend to meet, those early teenage years when everything is taking shape and forms are starting to stand out from the fog of childhood. When you’re thirteen years old your friends start to chisel away at you until adult contours start to appear. Back then it was John who had the hammer and chisel and both my brother and I represented the kind of raw materials that best friends do for each other.

John’s family owned a grey van and it was that part of our universe that we orbited around. Across a seven day week we found some serious fun in that van, or at the end of one of its aimless drives at least five or six days. It was the Trojan horse of our so-called junior high years and almost every story starts out with that grey van.

I only ramble on about the van because it’s easier and significantly more manly to wax poetically about a machine than another man, but Johnny deserves a nod of easy attention in the timeline that trails me. He was also the first the drift unassuming words of been there, done that my way when the world seemed to be receeding faster than I could advance. His comments are posted below and they’re what I awoke to this morning. With only a Red Wings win and a decent night’s sleep in between posting and then publishing his reply I was gently and affectionately reminded of the power of friendships, the reality of life, and the transitory nature of just about everything. If his soft and sincere admonishment was a lawn dart (how hilariously inappropriate of an analogy) it landed straight in the center of the hoop, or perhaps directly in my foot helping to remind me that sometimes that’s just how things go. Not every lawn dart finds it’s mark (I’m falling over laughing at the cheek stretching humor of this ridiculous reference).

The world is changing because it does, kind of like how game tying goals are sometimes blown off and not counted in Stanley Cup playoff games. It’s not cool, but it’s just how things happen sometimes. See how I slipped that hockey reference in there too just to add to the manly manliness of this whole thing? Yeah, I thought it was sly of me too.

Blah blah blah…I still wonder what happened to everyone but it’s nice to know that whatever was cookin’ in that grey van is still being served up 20 something years later. That feels really good even if it would probably taste really bad. You should have seen the inside of that van.


Blogger John Teeter said...

Well, I certainly did not expect this, but I ain't gonna lie to you, it was pretty darned nice to read.

I am glad you caught my drift on what I was trying to share this morning. There's friends, and there's the type of friends you can not see or talk to in 3450607099 years and still consider your best friends. You're one of those. I sit in a marriage with a girl I met because of you and Brad. I have a daughter that you commemorated the second birthday of with the birth of yours.

There are far too many reasons we share a vernacular that includes the other… the least of which, those nights we'd sit on the pool deck in our back yard checking out stars and talking about what chicks in Grade 9 were hot…

And I can't see that ever fading away.

Not like the van did, anyway.
Thanks, my friend.

May 8, 2009 at 8:40 PM  

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