Monday, September 28, 2009


"Hi Snag."

"Hello," I replied cautiously. I don't often answer the phone when it rings, especially when it's a number I don't recognize.

"It's me, S."

"S. Wow. Long time."

S. and I met in elementary school. We were acquaintances until we graduated from high school, then became roommates, then became friends. He was one of my groomsmen.

"We haven't talked for a while," said S.

Many years ago we were at a New Year's Eve party at our friend's R.'s house. Just before midnight, S. started telling us we were wrong. Sinful. R. finally asked him to leave.

"How are you?" I asked S.

"Alright," he said hesitantly.

Several years ago I got an email from him. It was a long history of Jewish influence over the Federal Reserve. I forwarded it to his older sister, asking her to call me.

"What have you been up to?" I asked, also hesitantly.

"Looking for a job. I'm only working part time."

S. was an above average student in high school, a good looking guy and a talented athlete. Grew up in a nice suburb, with a successful father and a mother at home.

"What kind of work are you doing?" I asked

"Part time," he repeated. "With a catering company. Helping at events."

He'd gone to a selective college. Graduated into a position in finance with a big local company. On Friday nights, before we got married, R. and I would go out for drinks with S. and listen to music and talk about how we'd grab the brass ring the next time it came around.

"Where are you living?" I asked.

"Downtown," he said. "Just south of it, actually."

A couple years ago he talked with the Lovely Bride. When I got home, she told me, "S. called. He asked me to tell you that 47% of his problems are your fault."

"Renting an apartment?" I asked S.

"Sort of," he said. "A room. In a group home."

"How is it?" I asked.

"Fine," said S. "It's sometimes hard to keep my medications balanced. The side effects."

"That's got to be tough," I said. The phone clicked.

"Is that call waiting?" he asked.

"Yes," I said. "I have to pick up the middle boy. He's refereeing soccer today. Sorry."

"That's okay," said S. "Say hello to your kids."

He's never met my youngest son.

"I will," I said.


Pinko Punko said...

Totally heartbreaking. I have nothing to add. Just makes me so sad- for reasons specific here and also for generally similar and dissimilar but same category situations.

blue girl said...

Very sad, Snag. :(

Jennifer said...

That's rough and sad.

fish said...

Must be really hard to lose a friend that is still around...

Substance McGravitas said...

Nevertheless, glad you wrote about it. There but for the grace of god go I et cetera.

Chuckles said...


Kathleen said...

difficult times.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I'm glad he has you in his life to reach out to from time to time. It makes a difference to him when he's feeling good.

Brando said...

Wow, that's quite a post, Snag. I hope your friend can get things back on track.

Anonymous said...

"S. called. He asked me to tell you that 47% of his problems are your fault."

I too have someone that feels like I am the reason she has had problems in her life. Looking back, I could have done things differently. I could have told her parents she was as nutty as a fruit cake and doing things that would not bode well if she kept it up, but at the time, telling parents anything, was not something I did. I have thought a lot about it and now I just think it's easy to blame someone else for your trouble. I am also a little tired of people shoving the responsibility of their actions onto someone else. Her life, and his will start to be better once they accept that their actions not ours are the reason they are where they are. Unfortunately, it may not be something they are able to do since they struggle mentally.