Nothing can lift the spirits of a man better than a long-time friend. My friend Barry called yesterday.
“I’m free tonight. You want to grab some sushi and then come coffee at the diner?”
I’ve mentioned Barry several times before. We have known each other since kindergarten. Although he has moved to the Island, his parents still live in my mother’s building, so he frequently drops by.
We have a ritual on our nights out. We eat somewhere. We drive past Shea Stadium/CitiField and talk about the Mets (well, in honesty, he talks about the Mets and I listen). We drive to the Palace Diner near Queens College. I order a coffee and linzer tart. He orders a decaf coffee and apple crumb cake. We look at the songs on the jukebox and make fun of them. We watch videos on YouTube on the iphone. We sit there for four hours.
Barry knows very little about blogging and Twitter, but he has recently become obsessed with Facebook, mostly in reconnecting with people we knew in elementary school. He seems to have an amazing ability to find long-lost people.
“I found Josh. He sells real estate in Seattle. And I talked with Juan. He is a minister in Idaho.”
“Juan is a minister in Idaho?”
“He told me to give you his blessings.”
“How did he become a minister? All he ever did in school was smoke pot.”
“Maybe that’s how he found God.”
Now, if you recall, I closed the comments on my previous post. I titled it a “Trainwreck Post” and described how my life was falling apart. Some scholars say that God does not have a sense of humor. I should ask Juan about this issue. But I believe God IS a funny guy. Why else would Barry proceed to tell me this — ?
“Oh, I told him to friend you on Facebook. I told EVERYONE to friend you on Facebook. And I gave everyone the address to your BLOG.”
“My BLOG?! Why the hell would you do that?”
“Yeah, I thought it would be cool for them to see it. You were writing stuff even back then. They can see that you kept with it!”
“I don’t want THEM to see my BLOG!Â Especially right now!”
It was too late. All weekend, I had classmates I haven’t seen in decades, happily married individuals who are now successful attorneys, professors, clothing designers, and ministers, coming to my blog and reading the post where I revealed that I am “rock bottom,” in need of medication, and STILL LIVING in the same apartment I was in elementary school.
“Interesting writing! I’ll read more.” wrote Sharon in a message to me on Facebook.Â She was some girl I once dreamed about in sixth grade, now an assistant dean of a prestigious woman’s college.
For some reason, I don’t believe her.
When Barry told me this news in the diner, I knew it was going to be trouble.
“We all want to look good with old friends!Â Having all these people reading my blog right now is like ME going to my college reunion with my fly open!”
“At least they’ll remember you as different,”Â he said.
Barry handed me my iPhone.Â Â As I was fretting, he had clicked onto Facebook and was showing me the current profile photo of Jane, who, back in the day, was considered the prettiest girl in fifth grade.
“Jeez, she’s still gorgeous!” I said. “Is she married?”
“To a neurosurgeon.”
I finished my linzer tart.
Today, on Facebook, Jane posted this photo of Barry and me in the fifth grade during the yearly P.S. 154 “Dance Festival” in the schoolyard.