Life does not fuck around; if you do not treat it with the respect it deserves it will come back to haunt you.
An old friend wound up in the obituary column lately. A guy I went to high school with and haven't seen since graduation. I read his death notice and was not surprised to find that he was quite accomplished. Had his own business; was a respected consultant in his field.
Bummed me out that he was dead. Bummed me out that my obituary right now would read as dark comedy in the professional arena.
Coincidentally, another old friend contacted me last week. One of my closest high school friends; a guy with whom I laughed and got insane with; a guy with whom I had great conversations - a guy who I respected.
Haven't seen him in at least 35 years.
We spent an hour on the phone yesterday. Bringing each other up to speed on our families and our "careers".
He is enormously successful. Respected in his field. No doubt with lots of cash in the wallet and the bank and a guaranteed comfortable retirement.
When I got around to talking about my "career" it was painful and embarrassing. I have accomplished nothing professionally in my life, and compared to the career he had described just one minute earlier, I looked like a fucking clown.
I tried to keep it upbeat but I'm sure he heard the bitterness and embarrassment in my voice.
My high school and college friends are smart guys. Destined to be successful. I am sure they thought the same of me so he had to be thinking to himself "How the fuck did this happen"?
Slap. That's what life does. You try to keep a low profile and hide your embarrassment in the dark. But life finds ways to show you what could have been; what should have been.
Life finds a way of pointing the finger at you and saying "What a fucking waste."
Strangely enough, although he lives in Virginia, he is going to be in the area this week. We are getting together. He is trying to get a hold of two or three other high school friends who live close by so we can engineer a mini-reunion.
My only hope is that at least one of them shows up with a shopping cart loaded with trash bags filled with his life's possessions.