Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Tribe Gathers...

My wife and I have good friends. The problem is that they're scattered over two continents. Our nearest friend is about two states east, and one state down, or there abouts.

Probably has something to do with my definition of friends. They have to be kidney worthy.

By and large, our friends are. The kind of folks you'd slide some money, pick up from jail, or swear in a court of law that no sir, no way, that's not them on that convenience store video.

Salt of the earth.

We stay together by email, post and the occasion (wish you were here) jealousy call.

The last time we were together, en mass, was back in September. We we're celebrating a friends return from Europe. He was the best man at my wedding and a buddy I crossed the Rubicon with (really).

Well, two mutual friends are getting hitched, and my wife and I are going.

The tribe gathers.

I know I'm going to run into one buddy. Last time I saw him and his wife was at the Christening of their son. We drove across a (medium sized) country to get there.

He and I are on opposite ends of the opinion meter. He's a deluded, naive, pollyannish, collectivist freak. I'm a blood soaked, kill 'em all, "murder was the name that they gave me", type of guy.

Man, we argue, and have been arguing, since sometime around December 2002.

I feel like I've been whacking that mole longer than John Henry.

So, instead of being in the defensive mode, I've got to figure out some questions to ask him. Things that keep my noggin active. Simple questions:

1. Is life, no matter how lived, the highest value?
2. Do the free have obligations to the unfree?
3. Does cowardice have a price?
4. How do we overcome fear?
5. Are different systems compatible?

I like to list things in five. Ten is too hard to remember. Figure I'll ask him these, or some variation thereof.

Then let the yelling begin. Hopefully, after the vows.

But you know what, it's all good. Because at the end of the day, we're still Brothers.

Still kidney worthy. Way it ought to be.

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