We've been friends for 20 years. Our daughters played sports together, we went through divorces together, we hung out like Steve Martin and Dan Ackroyd together and last night we were two old farts talking about old fart things together.
Joe was a former major league baseball picher with the Astros, Mets and Red Sox during the 70s and 80s. He was as famous for his left arm as he was for his hair.
Sports Illustrated once wrote about Joe ... "His secrets of success include not one, but two major league fastballs, a nasty slider and not one, but two or three hair dryers. He holds one fastball so that the ball sails in on righthanded hitters. The other fastball sinks. He employs a conventional grip on both the slider and the hair blower."
Joe was always the guy that women went crazy over. During our "wild and crazy" post divorce single days, Joe and I would hang out at a beach bar called the Hurricaine. On a typical night, Joe would meet 93 women and get 93 phone numbers and I'd meet two: One would tell me to get lost and the other would ask me for Joe's phone number.
One year ... we both even had disfunctional girlfriends at the same time. Mine was a bartender addicted to pain killers and his was a schizophrenic flight attendant. There's nothing like a disfunctional woman to keep us sicko men interested.
Fortunately for me, I found Debbie .... almost totally functional ... and better still .... willing to actually marry me.
And fortunately for Joe, he met and married Jennifer. They have two beautiful kids and live in California now.
Joe is a baseball agent/player's rep. We see each other periodically and have the kind of friendship that regardless of how long it's been ... we pick up from where we left off.
And last night?
Well ... last night the conversation wasn't quite the wild and crazy one it used to be ... more like:
Joe ... "... I didn't tell you ... been having arthritis problems in my left shoulder."
Me ... "Your pitching arm? How bad is it?"
Joe ... "Doctor had to go in and clean it up ... can't play golf for a while."
Me ... "That sucks."
Silence while we drink and shake our heads.
Joe ... "Hey do you remember the redhead with the big ...?"
Me ... "How can I forget ... What do you think happened to her?"
Joe ... "Don't know."
Me ... "Me either."
More silence while we chew on peanuts and take another sip.
Me ... "You know I got my right knee checked out ... hurts like crap when I climb stairs."
Joe ... "That's not good."
Me ... "No ... you're right."
We both take out our cell phones and check messages.
Me ... "Hey do you remember the blonde who drove that red Corvette ... she was a realtor I think."
Joe ... "Sure ... she was good lookin ... what was her name?"
Me ... "Um ... Can't remember."
Suddenly we both realized the time, hugged each other and headed home wondering where the time flew ... after all ... it WAS ten o'clock!