Friday, June 19, 2009

Old Friends at Lunch

Old friends
Sat on their park bench
Like bookends.
A newspaper blown though the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes
Of the old friends.

Old friends,
Winter companions,
The old men
Lost in their overcoats,
Waiting for the sunset.
The sounds of the city,
Sifting through trees,
Settle like dust
On the shoulders
Of the old friends.

Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends,
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

As a teenager I never imagined that this Simon and Garfunkle song might describe me or someone of my generation. Today I saw two old freinds meeting for lunch. The shorter, fatter of the guys got there first. He seemed a bit uneasy, jotting down something in a notebook and then making a call on his cell. The other guy, taller and trimmer, showed up a few minutes later. They both smiled, sharing the long held handshake of two men who'd been through something together.

I wondered about their relationship. Were they just old freinds, cousins, brothers-in-law, business partners? It may well have been business as one of them showed the other a document and they both studied the one guy's notebook offering comments back and forth for several minutes until their order arrived. I finished my meal and got up to leave but they just sat there talking, obviously engaged in the moment and enjoying each other's company on this man date, this business lunch, whatever it was for these old friends.