HeartNote, December 18, 2019: The Reason You Got the Present

I heard this in a meeting.

"So I got this guy a Christmas present because...well, I can't recall that i ever gave him a present. Ever. I guess that's part of the reason."

"But let me tell you about him. We met at work in the late 80's. We got to be friends. And we ran together. He would show up at my house at 5:30 in the morning to run three miles with me. He and I worked out together because he thought it was a good idea for me to stumble through a weight program that damned near killed me. We just got along."

"He showed me consistent, I mean unfailing, understanding when I would get angry. Lord knows, I would get pissed. My temper was relentless, and sometimes I would hold that anger from the night before. I would run like Bullet Bob Hayes and be miles away from his ass even though, under normal circumstances, the guy would smoke me on the runs. But he never said an unkind word. Not ever. He just caught up, which for him was pretty easy, and always ask me what happened. And he listened. Absolutely, without a doubt, one of the best listeners on the planet. At least he was for me. And I can't thank him enough."

"He's never given up on our friendship, and there are times when I wonder why he hasn't. He's seen my at my worst, seen me through the stupidity of my ego, my temper, my self-centeredness. And he still calls, still schedules time for me. He's seen me through divorce, infidelity, absolute unrelenting rationalization for my actions, and still he just stood by me. "He has always seen something in me that I am finally seeing now: that I can be an honest, calm, non-judgmental man, finally becoming loving unconditionally to the people I've loved with condition."

"And check this out: December 30th, I'm separating from my wife. She's had enough of me and we're taking a break. She's right. I'd throw my ass out, too. Anyway, I thought I'd be homeless again. The anxiety and worry was extreme and daily."

And what did this guy do? He said he wanted me to be with his Mom, a widow in her eighties, so she wouldn't be alone. The price was great, and I get my own room and shower. I get to pull social security in November, so for this year-and to be of service to both him and his Mom-it is the best arrangement I could hope for. This is the kind of guy he is. And, honestly, this is the tip of the iceberg."

"We play video games together. We both play that Madden football thing. He kicks my butt, because he's way better than me, but I just enjoy his company, hopefully he enjoys mine, and I enjoy playing with him. But the unit that plays the game was upgrade a few years ago, and we have to get a new unit to play anything past "Madden 2015." It's expensive, but his friendship has been priceless to me."

"So I put down 400 bucks and got him the new unit. He'll crap his pants."

"I can't afford it. But I can't afford not to. He's been the best friend I could have, particularly now. So, I hope he likes it. I hope he knows how much I love him. And I hope I get to play on the damn thing soon!"

I wrote this for this guy at this meeting so his friend would see it. I hope he does.

And, when he gets this present I hope, for my friend's sake, somebody gets a picture of the back of his pants.


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