Sunday, September 17, 2006

The one great 'what if'

Here it is nearly 3 a.m., and I can't seem to get to sleep.

Guess it has something to do with that ugly Florida win up on Rocky Top a few hours ago. I'm old enough now to take football, and most other things, in stride. No use yelling, throwing things or getting mad. These Vols will break your heart if you let them. I became immune to it all somewhere between the National Championship win over Florida State and the loss to Vanderbilt last year.

Since I'm up anyway, let me tell you a story about a good friend of mine. He's a pretty good guy. Has his faults, like we all do, isn't perfect, but does his best to work hard, play hard and keep the peace most of the time.

He's a funny one, this guy. Back in high school, he'd go out on dates with women he had no interest in whatsoever, just cause he didn't want to hurt their feelings, he'd say. He'll go out of his way to be nice to you, even if you don't deserve it, and if he does start yelling, which is usually about as often as a guest appearance by Halley's Comet, he'll apologize to you in five minutes or less --- and feel bad about it for weeks afterwards.

My friend thinks often of a girl he once knew. No doubt you've known someone like this. Not quite the one who got away, but at least the one great "What if."

No one is perfect, of course, and this girl wasn't either. My friend knew that, but he says it didn't matter. They had always gotten along famously, you see, and besides, all this bad stuff happened between her and somebody else.

He says he thinks about her often, usually in the late evening or early morning, just before either sleep or the coming dawn calls. He hears she's quite successful, is all set in an important job saving lives, and is still as beautiful as ever.

Quite a bit of time has passed, though, and my friend says he's glad his life turned out the way it did. He says he's happy and he looks it.

And yet, in the quiet hours, she'll sneak into his thoughts and he lets her wander there a few minutes, part of him wondering whether she ever thinks of him, too; the other part of him is just glad they once were friends.

"Yep," he says. "She was something else. We were just friends, really, but I'm glad we had what time we had together. I wouldn't trade those few minutes."

Ahh, if life could only be that simple.


Blogger Dewayne said...

I thought for a moment you were talking about me, but then you wrote "he'd go out on dates with women."

Since women is plural, I knew it couldn't be me.... lol

3:31 PM  

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