An Afternoon with a Friend

Early morning on a Friday here on the coast.  Yesterday was far less oppressive and muggy than the day before.  Sometimes the air feels just loaded with water — hard to force your way through.  But yesterday was around the same temperatire,, but dry and with a nice breeze.  A lovely early summer day on the coast of Maine.

I felt quite content yesterday.  I went with a friend, who is just out of the hospital, to run a bunch of errands.  F. is a great guy, sadly losing his battle with weight and diabetes.  I enjoy spending time with him — we hit it off years ago, and have remained friends ever since.

F.’s wife shows Welsh Corgis, and Cardigan Corgis, and one of the things F. needed help with today was moving 8 puppies from indoors to their fenced off puppy nursery outside. After walking back and forth a couple of times, I sat down to get the blood back into my lower legs.  F. went in the indoor puppy room, and brought out a laundry basket with a leash tied to one end.  This way, he said, I could put a couple of puppies into their conveyance, and drag them out to the kennel.  I found handling puppies, as always, just joyful, and these little ones were beautiful.

F. and I have about 5 different conversations going at any one time, and we jump from one to the next with no warning at all.  That little practice keeps me sharp and listening, and involved in the .  One of the subjects of our conversations is diabetes, and the frustration and sadness F. is experiencing.  I always try my best to reassure him — as I would have liked from a friend when I was first starting out.

We have many mutual friends, and a large chunk of our conversation, driving from one task to the next, is spent filling each other in on what’s happening in their lives — not gossip, exactly, because neither of us feel the need to get catty.  More like concern with what is happening in their lives.  We toss the day’s politics around, as well, and often we talk of spirituality, and the nature of God.

I’m not sure why I am writing this, but hanging out with F. is always uplifting.  He is one of only a few men I ever met in my life, with whom I feel safe, no sexual undertow, just really good friends.  I am always happy to help him, and he often drives me to appointments about 40 miles from home.  My friendship with F. is one of the very few straightforward, uncomplicated relationships I have had, and especially after breaking up with K., I got a real shot in the arm from F.’s positive faith.  I don’t have many friends — I am quite lucky that the few friends I have are learning to be themselves, as I am learning.  Thanks, POF.  You made my day!

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