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101 in 1001
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2000-12-20 - 03:08:18

Welcome back

It's 3 a.m. and I must be lonely ...

Sorry, but I just looked at the time and it came out.

This will be a short entry, something that hasn't exactly been my style, but it is late (or early) and I've returned from a long night of waiting for my friend to arrive, then three of us just sitting at a bar catching up, which involved several pints and therefore has me tired and, well, woozy, to put it one way.

Not enough to earn the "Drunk Night" title preface, but still a little wobbly.

Anyway, my friend Matt came home for Christmas today. Matt and I have known each other for 22 years -- we were born two days apart in September 1976, and our mothers first met then. They didn't really get to know each other, but two years later they met again, on Dec. 7 1978, when our sisters were born within two hours of one another.

Since then the two families have been close.

So Matt and I were best friends all through grade school and high school, and when we went to different colleges (he to Penn State, me to Notre Dame) we knew that we'd always stay close, that we wouldn't have to work at it much, that it was inevitable.

And it has been. That's what I'm here to report, it has been.

Matt and I can get together after not seeing each other for months, after not talking or e-mailing or corresponding for weeks, and pick up right where we left off, no matter what. Our friend Dave joined us tonight. While Dave hasn't been around since we were two years old (well, he was around, but not a friend of ours), he's as much a friend to either of us as Matt and I are to one another.

My point in this drunken entry is all that sappy stuff about true friendships and who your true friends are and all that.

It's true.

It does happen. After graduating high school, there were people I knew I'd stay in touch with, people I figured I'd stay in touch with, people I hoped I stayed in touch with, and people I didn't even notice after we walked off the football field with our diplomas. The ones you know you'll stay in touch with are no problem. Those you figure you'll stay in touch with aren't too bad either -- usually Christmas cards and the occasional letter or something. Anything after that takes a conscious effort; it takes work. And while some of those friendships are worth the effort, the ones that deserve it the most are the ones that you know will last. It sounds silly, but in my little semi-inebriated mind here at 3:13 a.m., it makes sense.

And it may not make sense tomorrow morning, but if I stop to think about it, I know it's right. And I can sometimes realize it at the time, and that is a wonderful gift: To know and recognize the truly great moments when they happen. It's just like they say in the play "Our Town," which I can't quote right now, but I promise to come back in the morning or sometime and get it in here.

But just keep that in mind for today.

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