Saturday, August 29, 2009

Reason, Season, Lifetime

Most of us have heard the saying about people coming into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Well, I got to hang out with my two lifetime friends tonight.

Neal is in town from Boston and Matt's schedule was open for our evening.

A little back story on these two is simply that we three went to Western Kentucky University together. We all met in college in the Theatre and Dance department where we began studying dance together and working on BFA's in Musical Theatre. We went through a lot of stuff together. A lot of firsts. We truly bonded during the summer of 1992 when we were cast in Hilltopper Dinner Theatre. It was a summer stock program through the University that cast us in three shows played in rep though out the summer. We waited tables before the show, excused ourselves to get into costume, performed the first act, put on an apron at intermission to serve coffee and desert, excused ourselves to perform the second act, then did a meet and great line, then bused the tables and reset for the next evening. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun. On Wednesday nights we took our tip money and our tired selves to O'Charley's for $1 margarita night. We were such a fixture there that one particular waitress upon seeing us would just motion us to a table in her section. We loved it. Our bond began.

We graduated in 1994 and have remained in touch ever since. Oh, there have been moments of estrangement, and moments of hurt feelings, and moments of distance across the country, and the other side of the world, where only the phone or email was an option. There have been countless moments of laughter and tears. Heartaches and hugs. There's a place for each of us to sleep at the other's home.

They are the two people in this world that I want to share good news with or that I go to for support. They are my family. As Neal mentioned tonight, we can dig and jab at each other with our words, but it's all good-natured ribbing. We truly love each other.

Tonight we met for a drink at Blockheads before Neal's husband Stephen had to head down to the West Village to see a performance of OUR TOWN. As Matt hadn't been to my new apartment yet and Neal had only seen it crammed with boxes from the weekend I moved, we decided to have dinner on the east side in my new neighborhood and then come back to my apartment to just enjoy each other's company.

It was so nice to have my two oldest and dearest friends sitting in my apartment. An actual place that I share with no one. A space that is truly mine. They were so excited to see it and I was so thrilled to host them. I can't wait for them to come back and see the changes as I continue to make the place my home. Wine will be consumed and laughter will be heard. These walls will feel the joy that is the friendship we share.

I am truly a blessed man. I have been given so much. When I was younger I loved watching St. Elmo's Fire. That group of friends loved and supported each other through everything. I remember one time at the end of the movie I was crying and asking God for friends like that. God listened. I do have friends like that. I am thankful for them everyday of my life.

There's a sitcom of our lives just waiting to be written. I've started it. One of these days maybe you'll actually see it. Don't be surprised if you recognize some of the stories. Our bond is old and strong and deep. There's a lot of comedy gold to be mined.

Gratitude is abundant for this family.