On Old Friends

Mac called his pal, John, one afternoon.

“Whadder ya up to?”

John laughed. “Just baking some bread. You?”

“Same!” Mac answered.

The pair had known each other almost their entire lives. They grew up only streets apart in the late 1940s and early 1950s. For a few short years, the two had even been business partners.

Now, in their 40s, the two middle aged men had taken up baking at the same time. They each felt it was both a creative and, at the same time, relaxing thing to do. Interestingly, the two took on the hobby independently of each other–there was no discussion about agreeing to do so. But that’s the level of kinship the two men had felt over the years. They were the type of chums that could finish each other sentences and thoughts. A rare thing, at least in this day and age.

And here they were, on the phone, two middle aged men, comparing bread baking techniques as if they were housewives. This particular conversation was about how long each of them allowed their doughs to rest and rise and where they did so. John said he liked to leave his in a warm cupboard. Mac countered that he left his out, covered with a warm cloth, to rise overnight. And, so, the conversation ran like that–light, breezy, and with the ease to two friends who had, according to one of them, “lived in each other’s back pocket” for most of their lives.

Oh, as all relationships do, this one had its moments of disagreements and even fights. Never physical ones, but verbal fights that sometimes lasted months where the two wouldn’t speak. But the things that they had in common were stronger than those that tried to tear them apart. “It was always nice to get back to the relationship we’d had as kids,” of one them said.

John said he had to go–“The missus is calling,” he said, and Mac bid his friend farewell. “Call me later and tell me how the bread turned out,” he said. John promised he would.

It was the last time the friends would talk.

A few days later, Mark David Chapman shot John Lennon, and Paul McCartney would lose his closest friend.


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