Old Friends


I ran into a old friend the other day
in the SuperMarket as we shopped
both bachelors so shopping was not hard
as we were both set in our ways.

Neither of us could remember the others name
as we had not seen each other in a while
so we awkwardly re-introduced ourselves
and laughed as we commented about our slow brains.

The conversation turned to soccer
as that is where we first met
playing on the same old man’s team
pretending to be young again like no other.

We had a good laugh as we shared a joke
and shook hands as we went on our way
knowing better than to say, let’s get together
of that there was no hope.

We had not  bothered to stay in touch
and our mutual interest was long gone
as age had taken its toll
and the game no longer held us in its clutch.

I resumed my walk around the store
thinking about the years gone by
of the games we played and the people we met
and wished there had been much more.

Alas time has dealt us a terrible blow
weak in body and mind as the years pass by
and all of the friends we used to know
not even a memory left to show.

Written 9/26/2017

My Slow Brain…


As my brain slowly goes bad
it makes me feel so very sad
that things I can no longer recall
even though they are very small
things like names and dates and times
involving dollars and nickels and dimes
are gone and even though I try
my very thoughts seem to deny
that the subject in hand I ever knew
as recalling my thoughts are very few.

I try to compensate for my brain
by writing things down to keep me sane
so I can use it to recall
whenever my brain is feeling small
or retracing my steps from whence I came
in order to jog my stupid brain
for when I get to where I am going
my brain has forgotten the reason for showing
appointments like doctors and dentists and such
are carefully logged as my fingers touch
the keys to my laptop being sure to record
the whose, why’s and when’s in the proper accord.

Actually things are not really that bad
its true I get a little sad
when my brain is slow and seems in decline
but give it some time and the gears start to wind
and slowly but surely the thoughts reappear
which makes me feel full of good cheer
as the brain is not dead but just being slow
the thoughts and words take longer to show
there is still life in this old brain
true its never quite the same
as when I was a younger fellow
now I am much more mellow
and everything I do takes time
walking, talking and thinking these lines.

Friendship-What does it mean to you

Austin panoramaI have been retired for eleven years from the University of Texas at Austin. I will always remember the date, January 31, 2001. My friends and acquaintances gave me a wonderful farewell party with gifts and cake and as usually happens at those type of things at least for me, when it came time to read this great speech I had written, I choked up and had to turn away leaving all of my parting words of wisdom unspoken.

It matters not as with most retiring people, they are only missed for as long as their usefulness to the company is exhausted and then they become a mere memory. Oh, close friends may miss them but with the absence of the physical body, the spirit is not much of a presence and as time passes, so do the memories.

This is how it should be as none of us should live in the past. Just as I am a forgotten person at the place that I worked for 21 years, so too are my thoughts and feelings about that place. I am grateful that I get a very rewarding pension and the hospitalization plan is excellent but I have not thought too much as to my former workmates and only on the not very infrequent occasion when I run into someone  from the past at the supermarket or such, are memories and acquaintances renewed however temporarily.

I may be an exception to the buddy thing preferring to act out my life with current friends rather than memories of older ones. When I think back over the years to my friends and the people I grew up with at Huggletts Lane, Dennis Baker, Radford and Ivy Upfield, John Holman to name a few  that I grew up with through age 11 all of those years ago, and then on through the years to all of my soccer playing buddies and there have been hundreds of them, my workmates in my early jobs, all of the people who have touched my life one way or the other, it is a seemingly impossible task to remember them all. At some point or another, many of them were special but they applied to one particular moment in time even if that time lasted years.

Even now in my life, things are still changing. I have just ended the part of my life helping to run the Austin Mens Soccer here in Austin after more than twenty years and all of the wonderful people who I have worked with, I have quit playing so will not get to make any more on the field acquaintances or renew existing ones, I am getting to the end of my coaching career with the River City Rangers after many years and will no longer be running into other coaches and kids that I have worked with. These are all activities that have consumed a major portion of my life and have involved hundreds of people many of whom, I am glad to say, I consider to be a friend, but, as time passes and I move on to the next chapter whatever that may be, I wonder how much friendship will be left? I would guess that in truth, not very much and what there is will be restricted to an occasional coffee or maybe a meal… for old times sake.

That doesn’t mean that life is over. Every time I meet a new person, then I have just made a new friend. They may only be temporary but as we go through life, we are constantly making new friends and leaving old ones behind and very few are lasting. Those that do last are to be cherished as they are special, very special. But in truth, in this modern world of hustle and bustle and constant activity including moving from one place to another, friends are mostly of the moment. Very few will not be forgotten and most will fade as time goes marching on.

Do you want to be my friend? All I can offer you is the here and now, no tomorrow…

What Should I do Today?

I sat around at home today, wondering what I need do and say,
as I know there is no way,  as its hard to imagine that caught up I may be,
or who is it that I need to call, or e-mail or blog, I’m counting them all
and yet, there is something troubling me,
what it is I cannot yet recall. Darn this forgetful memory.

If I wait long enough it will return, or a walk to the other room, my doubts to affirm,
that something, just something needs to be done.
There is no way that it could possibly be, that I am caught up and my time is free,
to pursue whatever it is that strikes me.