Early this year, I spoke for the first time in almost two decades with a very old, and at one time very dear, friend and lover. She had been my first lover, in fact, but time and tide carried us in different directions, and we both went out to meet our lives, and lost track of one another.
It was a happy, but not long-lasting, reunion; it seems her current lover doesn't approve of her associating with me. Old flames are dangerous things, and all that.
Anyway, shortly after, I received a surprise phone call from another very old friend, a person who was my best friend in our high-school days, and with whom I had not spoken for some twelve years. She had been married, and had gone on to I didn't know where, and we had fallen out of touch.
Turns out she was living not far down the road from me. We'd both moved many times in the intervening decade, but not so far as all that; we have since renewed our friendship, and have had great fun talking about our younger and more foolish selves.
Midweek, my wife received a phone call from yet another old friend, a person we last saw in 1992, some eleven years ago. He had at that time been part of a close circle of friends my wife and I held in common, which is now scattered (and with some animosity; some things happened, many of which were quite ugly and all of which were completely avoidable had we all taken more care).
"So," he said, "I had just got to thinking about you..."
The saying goes that with clothes, new are best, and with friends, old are best. I don't know that that's always true; there are some people come recently in my life that I would not necessarily put below those I have known for years. Nevertheless, I think a toast to old friends is in order.