Old Friends/New Stories
Or, Being Okay With a Crux in Your Life
It's Saturday evening and you just quit your part-time job. You were tired of never having any time off and you felt the impending firing coming down the line so you decided to cut it off at the root and just quit. You feel relieved, though also scared, nervous that you made the wrong decision. You still haven't seen a check from your new job and the bills are mounting, but still you feel glad to have put this job behind you.
Your friend John texts you and asks if you want to hang out later, play some kings. You haven't seen John for months and so you tell him you're game. After a dinner of hot pockets, you are ready to head out. Your girlfriend stays home, but she implores you to have a good time yourself. You believe her, because she's genuine that way. She doesn't want to go out, but doesn't want you not to because of her.
John moved to a new place in spanish harlem. You leave your apartment, forgetting that it's pissing rain. You didn't grab an umbrella and somehow both too lazy and too stubborn to return inside to pick it up. So you run to the CVS and pick up a 12 pack of Heineken before jumping into a cab.
You get to the building's front door and press the button for his apartment. You're still thinking about that job you no longer have, and the reduced income you'll be facing as a result. You're still worrying about it, but you got your penultimate check today, so it's a little easier to put some distance between yourself and the gnawing doubt.
Alex, John's brother, answers the door. You exchange enthusiastic hellos, because for as long as you haven't seen John, it's at least another year again since you've seen Alex. You walk in to the first apartment on the left and see John sitting on a broad leather couch against the opposite wall.
Immediately, all thoughts of the job you don't have are pushed to the side, you're just happy to be amongst old friends.
Alex brought some weed down from Rochester so you buy some from him. You hand out some Heinekens and you sit on the couch next to John and Alex. They start telling you about the film script they want to write. They want your opinion, a little insight if possible. It feels good, innately refreshing to be around creative people. You're happy to offer what help you can.
You smoke and drink and laugh for a couple of hours before Nick, John's friend and temporary houseguest, comes home. You've never met him before but you're in high spirits and you make an amicable introduction. You start talking about video games and sexual partners.
John sets his laptop up to record the conversations, so as to draw material for the script out of organic discourse. It's an idea you've had before but never tried, so it's cool. It's a little exciting. You tell them you quit your job that day, and they all applaud you for it. That was a shit job anyway, they tell you. You're better off focusing on what you're doing now.
It's like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Hearing your career move being validated is enough to put the worrying away. You relax more, if that is even possible at this point. You just laugh and talk and drink and smoke and everything is okay and you start thinking that maybe you've turned a kind of corner in your life and maybe going forward things will be good.