30 September 2006

Past Prologue

Funny, how things work out.
I had two very close friends when I was growing up, one whom I've known for close to 40 years and another for 26 years.
And I regret that over the years, as sometimes happens, I lost contact with them. It's like those old school mates; you spend at least 8 years with them -from kindergarten through 8th grade - and then if your lucky, another four during High School. Then college -or no college - seperates you, even after you promised you would stay in touch.
Dennis and I had a long time friendship that survived, at times, many ups and downs and a few years when he lived in Colorado after his parents split. He spent four years in the National Guard and, yet, when we got together, it was as if no time had passed. And while Dennis and I had little in common, we still had a bond of friendship that trumped everything else.
After our little adventure in the Bay Area working for the now defunct United Artist Theater chain, I relationship shifted. He was back in the midwest, doing his sports medicine stuff. Even after I returned to Chicago, we spent no time together. As a matter of fact, I think 4 years passed before I saw him again. After that, another 2 years passed before I contatced him again, and we spoke over the phone. It was not helpful.
Now eight years later, I have no idea where he's at, though I suspect he still lives on the south side of Chicago. It pains me that he has never tried to find me, or seemed even concerned that I am alive.
Then there was Michael, a guy I met when I was working for K Mart in 1980. While Mike and I did not become friends until about two or three months later, we none the less hit it off. Like my roommate Bill here, Mike and I shared the same interest; science fiction.
We had a great friendship during the 1980's, and even though we had some rough patches from time to time, it could always be the typical thing real firends go through.
But time and tide seemed to effect us towards the end of the 80's. Mike was dating Kathy and I moved to California for 18 months. After my return, Mike and I saw little of each other, as he was working a great job and was planning (and eventually) married Kathy.
I think the last time I saw Mike was at his fathers funeral. Though I might have faulty memories on that. I remembered spending time at his home in Bartlett, but I can't recall if it was after or before.
Anyway, Mike was a big collector of music and during our mad and wild days of the 1980's, he made me loads of audio tapes of music, well over a hundred by 1992. I still have them and while some have been abused by me, I have almost all of them. Plus, as mentioned above, our love of sci fi such as Dr. Who and Star Trek gives me more sweet, sweet memories. All those Sunday nights watching Monty Python, Dave Allen and then Doctor Who on the PBS station there; standing in line to see Return of the Jedi.
So, last night, after a few weeks of intense wondering where he was, I tried to find him. I knew he no longer lived in Bartlett, but I was unsure where he was, if he even still lived in Illinois.
Thge internet can be a wonderful thing, and it took me a couple of hours going through endless searches, but I think I found him and his wife in West Chicago. I found an email address and on a whim, and wing and a prayer, I sent one off.
It was him and he sent such a kind and wonderful bundle of memories back in the email. I was so happy and so shocked.
Of course, I sent a new email back to him, giving him the update of my life. Well, sort of, anyway. I can't remember if I told him I was queer. That should be interesting. God knows, I hope he dosen't freak out like Dennis did.
Hopefully, he'll send one back. I also gave him my mobile number, so we'll see if he calls.
Thanks, Fate.
I hope we'll never lose this time again.

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