What a weird time we are living in right now…

I was sick a week before this quarantine was put in place so I am a week more crazy than the rest of my family.  Small little bouts of schizophrenia masked with too many glasses of wine.  Having to take a second and think about what day of the week it actually is, almost losing my mind until I open the front door and step outside and let the sun perform its natural healing powers on me.

New realities, new normals are slowly setting in.  Social distancing and other new terms and phrasing I am learning.  I’ve watched my wife teach dance classes on a application called “Zoom”.  My kids are taking dance classes on it as well.  I see the kids light up just seeing their friends on there.  Trying to figure out what this new world is they live in.  All they want to do is open the doors to their dance studio and get sweaty with their friends and dance their hearts out.

I HATE FaceTime…. my family has used it for years because my brother in law and his wife have lived in San Francisco for years.  For my kids and my wife, getting to see them is super important.  They love to FaceTime with them.  I walk by and say my quick hello, but I just am not comfortable with the whole thing.  I love my them all, but I’d rather send him a text or talk to them more when they are home.

But this new social distancing is tough for me.  When I get into a rut or just need to get out of the house I send out the bat signal to all my friends and try to convince a few to have some drinks.  It’s my Prozac, it’s my time to recharge the battery.  I get to hang out and tell my friends my latest round of dirty thoughts and secrets.  I love seeing my friends laugh at how strange I can be.  Or when one of their friends maybe I have never met is over and I get to tell them one of my good stories and I get to find another detail to the story that I forgot about.

The other night I was on a text chain with something like 18 guy friends.  As you can imagine that text chain is always weird.  We go from asking what time people are meeting to go the next event all the way to the grossest jokes imaginable.  Anyway, I sent a message to the group, but I had a few glasses of wine and the grammar was awful.  So, I mentioned I was drinking wine and I was a moron.  I got a side text from one of the guys who asked “Virtual glass of wine?”.  I was confused so I sent him back a picture of the bottle I was drinking.  He replied back asking if I wanted to FaceTime and drink a glass together.  I HATE FaceTime, so I started to type out my excuse back but before I could send my phone was already ringing with a FaceTime request.  I uncomfortably answered but I was dying laughing 2 seconds into the FaceTime.  My buddy was exactly like me, drunk and bored, drinking red wine and talking gibberish.  I don’t remember all we talked about, but as I was hanging up I looked at my phone and saw we had talked for an hour.  I think I laughed the entire time.  I needed it, but had no idea I did.  It was again, my Prozac.  It reminded me of who I was.

Last night my wife set up a group FaceTime on an app called Zoom.  She invited a bunch of our friends.  A bunch of our high school friends.  As a reminder, I am 40.  Almost all of my friends are from high school.  There are a ton of us.  I know, I sound like a loser, a townie, or whatever, and I could never explain it, but these people are perfect.   I know you are supposed to grow up, meet new people and try hard to forgot high school.  But, it’s just different for us, I can’t explain it, so I won’t even try.  Anyway, it was a little awkward at first, people talking over each other, some bad wifi, but then after a few minutes you actually felt like you were sitting across a kitchen counter hanging out with them as we had a million times before.  We had a friend that had moved and started a family in Tennessee and after talking to her for 5 minutes it felt like she lived down the street.  She knows all our secrets just as we know hers.  There were kids popping in and out of the screen, a few toasts to one of our friends who is getting married next week.  I popped in and out of the conversation, and some friends joined for a few minutes and left, but lots of them stayed on that conversation for three hours.  It was truly a special night.  Sure, it wasn’t a wedding, or a 40th birthday party.  There were no hugs as we left, no grand plans made after having a few too many drinks.  But, for one night it was perfect.  I watched my wife fall asleep with a big smile on her face.  Her soul had been refilled.

So, while I try and get used to whatever this world is, for however long we all have to live like this, I remember how lucky I am to have the friends I do.   I often think about Stand By Me when I start to write about my friends.  We grew up together, went thru a ton of first’s together, made lots of memories we hate, and lots of memories we love.  His final line in the movie that he types on the screen is “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12.  Jesus, does anyone?”  And that’s where the stories turns into fiction for me.  I found lots of my lifelong friends at 12.  We’ll still be making each other laugh and cry for however many years we have left in this place.  Lucky isn’t even close to the right word to describe how I feel.  I love these people.



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