Friendships past


For some reason I was awake last night thinking about a childhood friend.   Actually,  I kind of know the reason.  We watched ‘Magic Mike’ on dvd.   You know the story or lack there of even if you haven’t seen it.  What does this have to do with my childhood friend?  I am getting to that have patience.

My friend Matt is 4 months younger then me.  He was born the end of January.  We met on the playground at school in the 5th grade (he was in 4th).   He was a bully.  Not in the sense that we speak of bullies today, but a bully none the less.  For some reason I took an instant liking to him even though he threatened  others.  Maybe because he was acting out what I was feeling.  Too deep.?  It doesn’t really matter.   We were playing 4 square.  Do children still play this game?  It was marked out on the concrete when I was a boy.  He had his arm in a cast.   The story was that he was chasing an ice cream truck, jumped on the back and fell off breaking his collar bone and right arm.  Anyway, I think what really impress me was that I wanted to play jump rope with the girls and he was willing to do it too and keep the other kids from picking on me.  We were fast friends after that.   He was there for me from the beginning.

Fast forward 10 years.  We had been in the Boy Scouts together, gone to the beach and camping together, skiing, ice skating, you name it.   Matt would try anything.  He was good at a lot of it too.  His bullying was the direct result of having two older brothers that picked on him constantly.  He was passing it on as it were.  He also had a twin sister, Mandy.  Of course, when I was 11 she was cuties.   Later on she was a friend.   So now we get to college age in one paragraph.  Just know that our bond grew with each year.   I should preface this by saying we didn’t attend the same high school together.  He went to a Baptist High and I went to a Catholic High, but we remained best friends all 4 years.

I went to college a year early than Matt and that is when we started to drift apart.  He was involved with High School Year Book and I was getting used to being in a co-ed environment again.  A year later he joined me on Campus.  We joined the concert band together.   We both played Clarinet.  He sat first chair, I sat in the back row counting bars waiting for a chance to harmonize.  I graduated and he dropped out to help with the family business.  He had taken enough business course to his fathers liking and they needed him on the job.

Here is where the Magic Mike part comes in…..we were old enough to go to clubs and bars.   I had a 4 month lead on him.  I had also been exploring my sexuality.  I joined the gay student union.  I never told him.  There was a club in Hollywood that I wanted to go to.   They had male strippers.  He agreed to go with me.  The club looked very much like the one in the movie.  The main building was round.  There was a balcony bar above the stage.  This was where the men were allowed to congregated before the show was over.   It was promised that these ladies would be horny and ready for action.

I think Matt knew we are going separate ways.  We sat for several hours talking while the strippers were performing downstairs.   We never hooked up with any horny ladies (or strippers!).   That was the last time we spent together.  I see him now and then at family functions.  He is married and has children.    He knows I have a partner.   But the friendship just sort of stopped.  It is sad really.  I miss our time together.

Okay so here is a picture of Mathew McConaughey.  (Not my Matt but isn’t he wonderful?)



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