Saturday, March 5, 2011


Another Saturday night in Dublin and we’re having a small party with some close friends. Five men, three women and if we had one more person we could start a co-ed baseball team.

We went out to dinner at a lovely Italian place nearby and after having our fill of pasta and bread, we’ve come back to our place for a few drinks, music, and stories. Love and laughter are two important emotions the human soul can experience and it’s good to know that you have someone to share the moments of your life with.

The two cats are watching the evening unfold as they sit side by side in the corner of the room, their heads going back forth as if watching a tennis match as voices and laughter rise and fall.

As I watched the proceedings at the dinner table tonight, I started to think about friendship. Each of us interacts with hundreds of strangers in a given day and while several may become familiar to us and we can call them an acquaintance, there are a select few we choose to let into our inner circles that become true friends.

I grew up with my circle of friends from home back in the States and I missed and longed for those close friendships when I first moved away, first to London and then in Dublin. Sure I had my cousin with me for awhile, but he had his own life and his set of friends already here and I was just the cousin.

Even though I had made some connections and even had a few dates, there was no one that I could really rely on as a friend for a few months. My life consisted mainly of going to work, working out, calling friends back home, and specializing in Dublin take out. On my walk home from work a few nights a week, I would stop in at a nearby restaurant for dinner. It served two purposes, one I didn't feel like cooking for myself and it broke up the routine of just going home alone. The staff and I got to know each other well and while they were all rather friendly and nice, there was this one blonde haired Irish boy with a bright smile that would always take time to talk to me as I ate dinner or get my takeout. He was full of questions about America and I was full of questions about Dublin and Ireland and we helped each other pass the time away.

There came a time when my cousin decided to leave Dublin and I had to decide if I wanted to stay on in the city by myself or go back home to the states. I didn’t know what to do, I felt lost in this world.

At that same time, I stopped by the restaurant on my way home to get my usual dinner and the Irish boy with the smile didn’t have one this day. Instead he had a black eye from the beating his father gave him before throwing him out of the house. We don’t get to always choose our friends, sometimes fate brings you together. That night, fate brought us together and I invited him back to stay at my place instead of in the restaurant office. Two lost souls had found someone they could rely on.

Over time, we moved in together and shared a flat. He said he didn’t care that I was gay and wouldn’t judge me if I didn’t judge him for having an abusive, alcoholic father. Our friendship formed and we supported each other through good and troubled times until we could both stand on our own feet, secure of where we we’re going in this world. Eventually our circle of friends grew and we each found love and our place in this world. I’ve watched him grow into a husband and father and I don’t think either one of us would be the men we are today, where we are today, without the friendship of each other.

I can recall many moments when we didn’t know where we were headed the next day, yet now we get together and amongst the laughter and stories we talk of the future and make plans together in that future. It’s a lovely feeling when friends talk of the future and make plans because it means not only is your life going where you want it to be, you’ll get there together. It’s overwhelming when a friend tells you they love you for who you are. You’re friends not because you need to be, but because of the happiness you share when you get together.

Friendship is embodied in the deep laughter that comes from the heart, the hugs that can last as long as you want without embarrassment, the safety of being able to shed a tear on a bad day or just the sharing of a smile, even if no words are expressed, the eyes understand.


Garden Man said...

Great reminder of how precious friends are in our lives. It's great to share life experiences with someone who will be honest and supporting of you and to watch each other's lives grow and have the friendship strengthened by your differences instead of pulled apart by them.

Glad to see you back on and posting. You always offer unique views on life and help the rest of us stay centered on ehat is important, like friendship.

Christy said...

aw, so sweet.

Jen said...

I miss your friendship. I love when you come around and I hate when you go away.

The New Me said...

Thanks for sharing this scene with us, it is, I believe one of the most personal writings I've seen from you. Though all of your stories make me curious about life in Dublin, the stories about your friends are the best. I guess it makes it all more human for me.

Glad to see you're feeling better and that life is returning to normal.

Desmond said...

I really really loved this because it was so honest and there was nothing gimmicky about the writing. I think that is the charm of your writing that keeps me following you after years.

Reading about friendship has never ever made me do this, but today, after reading this, I sent a text to my best friend. You made me realise that it's not easy making good and close friends. Sometimes things just align, and you find yourself in a good place with someone, even platonic-ally. And I realised I should never take for granted friendships that form under these circumstances. Thank you for the reminder.

I thought I'd let you know that, because I feel like you've started a circle of love, and it is passing forward. :) And as with all circles, it comes back. At least I pray that it will. :)

WranglerMan said...

We all need a reminder of how much our friends affect us and how much we affect them. Thanks!

American Irish said...

Thanks for the nice comments and for taking the time to do so.

Hope the week is going good for each of you and that is full of smiles and laughter.

JR said...

Hey, really cool posting.

Anonymous said...

Friendship is sweet.

Anonymous said...

After reading this I had to call my best friend and hear their voice instead of just sending a text message. thanks for the reminder to cherish our friendships and not take them for granted.

Myra said...

You're a beautiful soul!

Ian said...

I really liked this post. Thanks so much for sharing :)

Ing said...

That was beautiful big head! Now I need to go call my friend.