We’re strangers and while sometimes I’ll say good morning while we wait for the bus, he never says good morning back. Lately, I don’t bother to speak.
The man looks like an old friend of mine. In fact, he could be my old friend’s twin. When I first saw them, I thought it was my old pal, but as I looked future without trying to stare, I realized he wasn’t.
But seeing this man at the bus stop and on the bus brings back memories of him. I wonder what he’s up to, wonder how he is.
We used to work together at the same company. I always bought him a tie for Christmas and he always got the same for me.
Back when I knew my old friend, I was married, had two young kids. He was a little younger than me and had two older kids.
We shared the same birthday – May 1st. It was always a given that we would do lunch and drinks together on that day. He would pay for mine, I would pay for his. Maybe that was silly, but that’s what we did.
We would go to Reds games, at least 10 a year and drink lots of beer. We loved doubleheaders, because that meant we could drink even more.
He loved rock and roll music and always wanted me to like the same groups he did. Sometimes I did – but most of the time I didn’t.
Sometimes I would try to get him interested in books, but he wasn’t a reader. Sometimes there were television shows he wanted me to watch, but I wasn’t a viewer.
He liked my sense of humor and I had the ability to make him laugh. He was a good guy and we were really good friends. Now, I don’t even know where he lives.
I know we don’t mean to, but I guess this happens to all of us from time to time – just letting friends go. No real goodbyes, just the passage of time that turns a friendship loose. I don’t know or can’t remember why it happened in this case, but we got disconnected and out of touch. I mean, I haven’t seen or talked to him in years.
Seeing that stranger at the bus stop brings back the past and some good times and the older I get, the more I realize that it’s a very sad thing to simply let friendships die.