Ya know how it was when you were a kid and you'd hang out with your friend and you didn't hafta do much.
Maybe just read Archie comic books together. Or watch tv. Or hop on pogo sticks. Or listen to records or go on bike rides through the neighborhood. Or wander down to the creek to catch crawdads or pretend you were stranded on the island just like Gilligan and the gang.
I have a friend who I did just that with.
No penciling in on my calendar weeks in advance. He was my automatic friend. My automatically be there friend.
"Hi! Ya wanna hang out? it's such a beautiful day!"
"Sure! You wanna go on a picnic?" He'd say.
"Yes! I'd love that!"
"I'll pick up some snacks... see you in about 15 minutes!"
"whatcha doin'?" He'd ask.
"Oh, " I'd say, "I'm thinkin' of painting my gutters..."
"Ya need some help? I'll be right over and bring my ladder!"
"That's great! See ya when ya get here!"
"Hey what are you doing tomorrow?" He'd ask.
"Not sure. What are you doin'?" "Ya wanna go to the A's game? We can barbecue there in the parking lot before the game!"
"Sure! That'll be fun! Let me know what I should bring!"
We had an easy, spontaneous, always ready friendship. We hung out together a lot and all the time.
"Ya wanna come over and watch LOST?"
"I'll be right over."
"Hey! I wanna go on a walk, ya wanna join me?"
"Sure! I'll see you in five minutes!"
Such an easy friend to say yes to. And now he is gone.
He moved away two weeks ago. Three hundred long miles away.
This morning I needed to pick up dirt to fill up sink holes in my backyard. Normally, I'd call my friend, "Hey! Whatcha doin? Ya wanna help me bring in some dirt?"
He'd say, "Sure! See ya there!" And he'd drive up in his truck and we'd haul that dirt out to my backyard.
But this time he wasn't there.
The air felt so empty.
The day felt longer than it used to feel.
I called up another friend with a truck and asked the same question. He never returned my call.
Friendships. Really comfortable friends are golden. I didn't always need my friend to help me in my chores. More often than not, we needed each other for fun and adventures and to share a laugh with. We didn't hafta pencil each other in a month in advance. We were instead, the ever-ready spontaneous friend who was always available for fun.
He will always live in my heart.
And I miss him.