Sunday, December 27, 2009

My back wants to know how your neck is doing

I think I'm now "of an age."

I joined some of my oldest friends for a ten o'clock Seahawks game this morning. The three of us have known each other for around thirty years (since we were teenagers), but we haven't met up for the past couple. We decided to find the absolutely "diviest" (pronounced diy-vee-ist) bar available for a Sunday morning rendezvous with Seattle's fraternity-flag-football-league-worthy Seahawks, and we found the perfect place online. The reviews elaborated upon "strong drinks, decent food and a local clientele." Sounds perfect.

When we united, the place was closed, so we caravanned up to a casino in Tukwila, Washington. The establishment was odd; every gaming table was attended by a card dealer, yet the bar was attended by no one. We waited for about ten minutes, and finally inquired of one of the nine idle dealers as to the whereabouts of the barkeep. "He's on smoke break, " Number Three replied.
I thought, "He must be smoking a about five Camel Ultra-Longs in a row, because it's taken twenty minutes. Finally, he showed up and we got the necessary accoutrements to continue our morning,

As I mentioned, my two friends and I hadn't seen each other for a couple of years, and we possessed no agenda for our conversational subject matter. However, the chat immediately focused on each of our respective health statuses:
"I'm not sure if you knew this, but I had surgery on my back last year."
"Really? I tore my meniscus."
"I've been having neck issues."
"How's your (eighty-year-old) mom?"
"She's doing great. How's your (seventy-six-year-old) dad?"
"Never better. In fact, he's on a cruise right now. Did I tell you about this mole that's changed color?"
"No. Let me show you this thing on my..."

That went on for about an hour. In the end, though, we had thirty years of ground to cover. It's not like you merely cover the past two years; there's also material from the 70s, 80s and 90s to retouch upon. I sometimes forget how certain people share certain experiences with you, and those happenings dredge up laughter from a part of your solar plexis you forgot existed.

We finally arose to leave from the uncomfortable barstools. I'm sure, as we walked three abreast to the front door, a witness to our collective profiles could make out three steps on the evolutionary chain, from Cro-Magnon to Neanderthal to Human, as we gingerly straightened our upper bodies and bounded toward the exit.

Great to see those monkeys.

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