I looked up an old friend on facebook the other day. Actually my teenager did after I recalled yet another story from the past about “Parky”. He accepted the friend request within hours and I was able to greet him in the ether.
A phone call ensued.
It had been years since we’d last spoken and I was grateful that we were both still happy to hear from each other, shoot the breeze and catch up. There were no awkward silences, it was as if we talked every other week. Don’t get me wrong we’ve got history, purely platonic, including an 80’s share house in Woolloomooloo and a 72 hour return bus trip to Mackay to visit his old girlfriend, but I was unsure if the current Parky would still be the same.
Of course we change, life changes us and there’s no denying mortgages, marriages, kids and the politics of first world problems take their toll, but essentially we remain the same person inside. It was refreshing to hear about his life and interests. To learn he’s a devoted dad, a National Parks worker, a motorbike enthusiast, an organic gardener (who’d have thought) and a triathlete! But most of all, after the considerable loss and grief I’ve experienced over the last few years, it was good to know he wasn’t divorced, widowed, suffering from cancer or staring down the barrel of addiction or mental illness.
I’d like to think that after our conversation we both went back to our separate lives comfortable in the knowledge that somewhere out there, in the midst of our ever-changing, unpredictable, fragile existence, an old mate was doing alright.