I’m on an airplane right now. And by right now, I mean right now, not your right now. By the time you read this, I am no longer on a plane on the way to Chicago. Rather, I am probably helping old ladies cross busy streets or serving food to the homeless. Or maybe I’m taking a dump. I don’t know what I’ll be doing while you read this – lay off already! Anyway, right now, my right now; I’m on a plane to Chicago. Don’t worry; I’m not flying it. I’d never blog and pilot at the same time. Heck, I’m not even a pilot. Nor do I play one on TV. Haha, that joke never gets old does it?
This is quite the boondoggle of a trip. I’m going to see my sister for a couple hours this afternoon before she commutes home to the suburbs. Then I’ll hook up with my buddy Lemonhead. I met him and my other best friend Zippy while building a castle out of wooden blocks in Kindergarten. Best friends ever since.
Lemonhead lives in downtown Chicago and is in the know for cool places to eat, drink and be merry. Lemonhead is my age – 44 biologically, 12 humor wise. And yet he lives like a 25 year old. Get this; he goes to concerts on Tuesday nights for fucks sake! Last time I was in Chicago, Lemonhead took me to an Italian restaurant in the Ukrainian Village, which is primarily populated with Hispanics. The neighborhood is populated with Hispanics, not the Italian restaurant. Give me a break, I’m not a writer! That sentence still doesn’t seem right, but I can’t harp on it, especially while I’m flying. Somebody has to keep an eye on the ominous clouds and watch out for flying unicorns.
Lemonhead and his girlfriend are taking me to Hopleaf for dinner tonight. I was there this past summer but we just had beers last time and I was distracted by some random girl that I had met earlier in the day at a street festival. Good old Chicago.
On Saturday evening, we are driving out to the burbs to see Zippy and about ten other guys from my childhood. Zippy invited the old gang and their significant others to his house for a holiday party. It’s really because we haven’t all been together for ages and the last few months were rough for some of my homeys. Zippy’s brother died a couple months ago and then another buddy from junior high lost his dad a few weeks later. I couldn’t make it out here at the time and when Zippy said he was getting the band back together, I said I was in no matter what.
I am way more excited than I thought I’d be. I see Lemonhead a couple times a year, but I haven’t seen Zippy in over two years now. And longer for some of the other guys. I come from a very small family and have just the one sister. These guys I grew up with are my brothers. And even if we don’t talk much and see each other even less, it takes about three minutes and twelve seconds to catch up (kids, family, work) before we revert right back to when we were kids.
We harass each other and are sure to bring up some of the finer moments from our past. The wives and girlfriends don’t get many words in but they don’t retreat to the kitchen like most women do at parties. We are laughing too much and are too damn entertaining for anyone to miss out.
I’m sure we will make fun of Hammer for chewing straws while shirtless driving around in his ’67 Mustang. And I’m sure we’ll talk about the time Wally broke his hand punching that moron in the parking lot at the movies. And I bet JD hasn’t been called a Red Headed Fool by anyone lately after getting it daily from me when we lived together in college. And the Stantonian Device; my goodness there is so much fodder with him. We might talk about the time we threw him over a hedge of bushes in Lincoln Park or perhaps his cassette tape collection of heavily incorrectly named bands (i.e. Hauling Oats for Hall & Oates). I understand getting lyrics wrong, but how do you screw up an entire band name? Wolfey will get blasted for always begging us to go to Cock Robin for lunch. Who names a restaurant Cock Robin?
Zippy and Lemonhead are fair game too. I’m sure Lemon’s bulging neck veins when his angry Italian temper erupts will come up in the first ten minutes of laughs. And I just cracked up out loud here on the plane as I thought about that time Zippy fell through the sliding screen door to the patio at a party. I still remember it like it was this morning. His face and one of his hands made 3-dimensional imprints in the screen and it all happened in super slow motion. The music stopped as he was falling and all 127 people at the party turned to watch. He made a deep groaning gurgling wail that was drowned out by the erupting laughter of everyone else. I swear I pulled a stomach muscle laughing so hard.
Oh my, I’m smiling ear to ear right now. What’s that? You want to know what they’ll tease me about? Please. I was a boring kid that never did anything stupid, funny or interesting.
Words in a blog, this blog anyway, don’t do justice to the power of healing, nurturing and feel goodness that comes along with hanging out with best friends. The holidays tend to turn into stressful and hectic moments of gift buying, logistics, hosting, excess and simply too much.
What do we really need? Family. Comfort. Laughs. Health. Love. Idiots like my friends. That’s all I need. And this lamp…