A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"That’s Funny"

So many fond memories running through my mind, cascading like torrents through the years...such as the time we were at the movies and sputtered in anticipatory glee when we realized that the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles was coming up. The people sitting around us probably wondered what the hell was the matter with us, but soon they were also laughing with us at what is possibly the funniest sound gag ever put on film.

Then there was our senior prom, and neither one of us went because neither one of us had a date. Oh, you could have had a date if your girlfriend hadn’t broken up with you a few months before. I could have had a date too, if it wasn’t for the fact that a close relationship with a member of the opposite sex was — at that point of my life — largely a hypothetical proposition.

There were the short summer vacations filled with a million or so hands of pinochle. We lived to play that game then. Funny how I can’t remember the last time I played any cards at all. Literally, it’s been decades.

Then there were the parties, with more eating than drinking. We liked to eat pizza with you, not so much because we enjoyed it as much we enjoyed making fun of how you pronounced it. For the last time it’s pronounced “peet-sa” not “pee-sa”!

We were the closest of friends, so close that we could see each others faults and not mind them at all. You liked to argue just for the sake of arguing too much for my taste. And, yes, alright, I could be a moody tempermental person at times. Could be? Alright, I’ll admit, I’m still a moody person!

We only had one big fight, and it was over a woman. I was so angry with you that I didn’t communicate with you for two years. Even now, I won’t admit you were right about her, but I now believe that in the end she wasn’t worth the trouble.

So now I’m remembering all this and laying out many of the details of our friendship for all to see. It’s my way of approaching, then retreating away from, something I hate to do. I’m dancing around every conceivable way to avoid doing the inevitable. That inevitability is saying good bye and letting go...

Your son followed your final instructions well. He called and left a message on my answering machine to tell me you had passed away that morning. I didn’t realize it at first, but when I played the message again I could hear a more gravelly version of your voice when he spoke. That fact is comforting to me. I see it as a sign that only your body gave out, but you’ll live on through him and your daughter.

I expected the phone call for nearly a year since when you told me that you had decided to forgo a transplant and living a less-than-ideal life on dialysis. You reached a point where you had lived your life and there was nothing more to do. Still, I couldn’t believe the news since I had last spoken to you only a few weeks ago. You were still your jovial, joking self on the phone then, with no trace of pain or regret in your voice.

Oh, then there was the time we saw Dylan and the Dead at that fiberglass-slivers- in-your-ass venue, JFK Stadium in South Philly. Oh, and a few midnight misadventures such as the time a parking meter “followed us home”. Or all those times when you would nearly laugh yourself into unconsciousness and exclaim at the end of your merry jag, “That’s funny!” Oh, and oh so many more tales to recount. Perhaps at some other time and some other blog...

I’ll never eat another slice of “pee-sa” without a mild chuckle at all these memories.

Nick, God Bless You and Rest In Peace.


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