"I was told love should hold old friends."
- EBTG, Old Friends
Just wrapped up a small party at the house celebrating the successive Virgo birthdays in the group. Considering how anal-retentive that Zodiac sign is and how much at cross-purposes it is with mine, it's surprising to realize how I have so many enduring friends born under its influence.
Truth be told, I wasn't too keen earlier on having company over, grousing over my impending deadlines and the fact that my lazy ass still won't kick into full-on work mode.
The highlight of the evening seemed to be everyone commenting on how skinny I now look. Take note: skinny, not lean. Skinny. I stopped counting at the 7th person who commented. Lucky 7 and all that.
Coming from a bunch of old friends I hadn't seen in quite a long while - and who have packed on some pounds in the interim - I suppose I should've been flattered. But since my current slenderness is not the product of hours at the gym but rather a combination of stress, lack of drinking, and my general disdain for food, I wasn't exactly jumping for joy.
I was ready to spend the night resentfully nursing my Royal Tru-Orange while everyone else got tipsy on red wine, but was pleasantly surprised as the evening progressed to realize I was laughing. Again. After a long, long while. I'd forgotten the sound of my own infamously-boisterous laughter.
We talked, and talked, about this and that. We marveled at their pre-teen kids and my now-teenaged nephews. We spoke of ghosts and politics, of the Great American Depression, of my desire to stage Dangerous Liaisons with an all-gay male cast. We talked of many things, of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot. And whether pigs have wings.
And I laughed and I guffawed, snorted and bellowed. And all without a drop of alcohol in me. I had never really needed the aid of drink to be loquacious, for even sober I'd often be so manic people thought I was high. But that seemed such a long, long time ago.
Tonight, without distilled spirits, in the company of old friends, I distilled my fractured thoughts into an epiphany clearer than vodka. I saw my friends and myself not through a glass, darkly, but face to face. Now some things I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Obviously, I'm not drunk. Just happy, for a few short hours, to be the man-child I once was. In the company of old friends who knew me when.
It was good to see them again.
It was good to be me again.