Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Lunch with Larry

I've always been very careful when choosing my friends and heroes. I'd rather have a few, very good ones of both, than to have a lot of them which increases exponentially, it would seem, the risk of becoming jaded or disappointed with my choices. That's the way I am with choosing my friends and heroes. Sometimes, though, one of them just falls into my lap as if preordained, and when that happens I accept that person for the gift that he or she is to me with no questions asked. That's how it was in befriending the "New Girl at Work" of whom I've written here before. And that's how it was in coming to begin my friendship with Larry with whom I shared lunch today.

Larry's from Alaska. We met online. He shares his wife, as I share Dee, not only physically with her lovers but emotionally as well. It was only after our wives had shared a number of mails with each other, in fact, that Larry and I began writing to each other. And when we started, I knew in an instant that this was a man whose friendship was one of those which was destined to be. I didn't have to be careful. I didn't have to ponder and toss and turn and beat myself up about whether or not to open my small circle to his friendship. He came as a gift which I most graciously accepted.

When Larry flew down here last year, within an hour's drive of where we live, it went without saying that we should get together, and so we did. He drove out to join us on a date night with Don and Mike during which he too got naked and joined in the evening's pleasurable dalliances, and later that same week Dee and I drove out to where he was staying and joined him for lunch. It feels trite to use the old expression that it felt as if we'd known Larry all our lives, but it's the truth. In meeting him, it was as if some long, lost part of myself had come home. I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times I've felt that kinship of spirit with another person in my nearly fifty years. When Larry wrote last week to let me know that he was coming out here, to me it wasn't a question of if we'd get together - simply of when and where. We met for lunch, and it was one of the highlights of my year, to be again in the company of this gentleman whose friendship is profound.

Larry and I often go for months without writing a single mail to each other. Like me, he faces his own down times and doldrums, and when he's in a funk, or I am, our letters are few and far between. When we reconnect, though, we pick up where we left off - as only friends can do, and before one can apologize for having gone silent the other is there with a comforting, "I know."

My fingers are going on and on here, as usual, in trying to express something for which there are no words possible to relate what I'm feeling. I'm basking - glowing in Larry's friendship. A year will likely pass before I see him again, but when I do today will feel like it was only yesterday.

Maybe next year Larry's wife will be with him too. Perhaps, if she is, they, and Dee, and I can all take off our clothes together. Or, maybe we'll just do dinner. Either way, I know I'll be feeling this same pretty amazing good thing that I'm feeling now.

Thanks, Larry, for this remarkable frienship that exists through the distance and time differential between us, and which makes a huge difference in my life, even when - especially when I'm feeling the "winter" in my bones and I feel your sympathy even in our mutual silence.

"We met for lunch, and it was one of the highlights of my year..."
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