Sunday, September 14, 2008

a little male bonding

Sometimes, people say things in passing that either hurt or touch you more than they know, I remember when I was at basic training some eight years ago, almost to the day when this happened to me. We were on the known distance range and Steve was my battle buddy. We were firing and, between magazines, he said something very casually in conversation. While talking about his friends back home, he added in, "But, they wont stay friends probably, and you're my best friend here or there, so we'll probably be friends until we've got kids." That was barely a paraphrase. I remember thinking that it was probably the first time that someone had been that unnecessarily open with me and I felt very...I don't know what the word is, but it felt good.

Jacob, a good friend of mine from Officer Basic, is someone I often hang out with and who I have explored many a new city with. He loves to eat and drink and enjoy the culture of various cities as much as I, and each new city he visits, he find the best in. He reminds me of my father in very many ways, and I mentioned that to him. It was, I later learned, a moment similar for him. I didn't realize how much that meant to him until he told me so almost a year later. Knowing how much I love and respect my father, Jacob knew how much that meant for me to compare him.

This weekend, my friend introduced me, and maybe this was tinged with hyperbole, as his best friend from West Point. While I realize he had many friends, even if it was an overstatement, I took it to heart.

It is rare that men make admissions of admiration or affection to one another, but when they do, they most often are true, heartfelt and meaningful. At least, that has been my experience.


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