Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 6, 2004
My Friend Joe
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – May 6, 2004 – I met Joe in 1998. He was introduced to me by Kirk, a client of mine. Kirk and I had been out prowling around looking at real estate, and Joe met us one day to offer his professional opinion on a building we’d found. I remember the day well. It was spring – probably late April or early May.
The weather was warm, not hot, and we had arranged to meet just after lunch. Kirk and I arrived first and were walking around outside the building when Joe arrived. As he walked up, Kirk glanced at us both and said, “I know you two have never met before but did you call each other this morning”?
Joe and I took a look at each other and burst out laughing. I was wearing black jeans – a black blazer and a very bright lime green tee shirt. Joe was wearing a black suit – a black shirt and a very bright lime green vest. We looked like the Bobsey Twins without the Bobsey. We liked each other on first meeting and soon realized we shared the same off-the-wall sense of humour and enjoyed talking together.
Over the intervening years Joe has been a client, he has become a friend and a confidant, someone I respect, treasure and trust. We have zany chats while I’m working at my computer at home and Joe is either driving to or from work. I laugh whenever I talk to Joe, not just an ordinary little chuckle but big belly laughs. He’s a great listener, offers sound advice but doesn’t insist that his view is the only way to see a problem. He supports my business and listens to all my silly woes when I’m worried. He helps me with household decorating decisions (because he has the trained eye of a designer). He is discreet, tolerant, bright, funny, loyal and always helpful.
Last August when the power went out in Ontario and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States – Joe and I got together and had a BBQ on his back deck. Then we walked up to Riverdale Park to sit and watch the darkened city. Hundreds of other people were there as well, with candles and flashlights. Car and trolley lights carved eerie pathways through the city streets. It was a memorable evening with a good friend.
Joe moved to another part of the city last fall and I miss knowing he’s just up the street. We finally had a chance to get together for dinner last night and get caught up on each other’s lives, after months of busy schedules. We had wine and pizza and talked until midnight.
When I think of all the things that make a life memorable and rich in experience – friends are right at the top of the list. People like Joe don’t come along every day, and when they do, it’s important to acknowledge them and be thankful for their presence in your life and to respect, cherish and nurture their friendship.