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Each Friday, I typically call a friend to catch up. I reach out to them, re-calibrating memories of old stories when camera phones created no evidence while checking on each other’s latest adventures. I am grateful for the friendships made and maintained while respecting the rareness of an abundance. This past week was no different when I called a close friend, Tom (aka Kool-Aid, Uncle Tom, Kool-ass Kid), to check in on life's most recent shenanigans. He mentioned he was in D.C. to see his mom, sister, and nephew… and see Caroline Rose. Caroline Rose is an artist we have both been listening to since her debut album in 2012. If you unaware of her talent, it is well worth hearing her musical journey through a wide diversification of genres.

During our conversation, he mentioned he just happened to have an extra ticket due to a work schedule conflict with his wife, and she was unable to make the trip. Mentioning an available ticket was just enough motivation to make a 4-hour road trip to see him and the show. Stay young. Let’s do this.

Let's do this

When I got to D.C. after a 4-hour trip on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I was ready to get out and stretch. The weather was perfect, and as Tom and I are University of Alabama graduates, the weather was a reminder of why some individuals elect to move north. The sun was out, and the birds were pontificating that they were getting more done in D.C. than anyone on the Hill in recent memory. We elected to check out the surrounding neighborhood that Tom had been privy to in high school to get a drink before our dinner reservations.

Like hundreds of times before, we were scouting a spot to sit in our first bar. We had chosen the Aslin Beer Company as our first stop. As we were on the prowl for seats outdoors, we asked a guy sitting alone if the seats next to him were free. He politely said no, and mentioned his girlfriend was just in the bathroom. But, he quickly took that unostentatious comment back as if he clicked a verbal edit button in midair. “Come on, we will scoot over.”


From here and for the next three hours, Ryan, Alyssa, Tom, and myself, laughed, explored, and dug into each other’s personal lives like we had known each other forever. We unraveled into conversations that ranged from the legendary skill sets of Dr. John the Nitetripper, to similarities in the sequence of unloading a dishwasher (a blog in the future for sure!). With those types of conversational bookends, we covered everything in between. There were no prerequisites of trust that traditionally take decades to establish. There were no monumental stories, scars, or close calls with law enforcement that are the cornerstones of an unbreakable friendship. Instead, we defaulted by trusting that old souls are always best friends. 

As the voyage of conversation explored uncharted territories for physical strangers, we knew we would never cross paths again. This was never verbally mentioned, but old souls speak in silence knowing that they will cross again. 

Sure, we could have exchanged contacts or found each other on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. We never openly indicated a desire to do so, instead just appreciative of the moment and the value obtained. We were all best friends at the moment, yet accepted it would be brief and quickly come to an end in person. But, from a soul perspective it was a brief end, because we knew our souls would cross again. Briefends. #Briefends

Lonely versus alone

Check on your friends. Be sporadic and consider the compounded value of seeing a friend and a four-hour road trip of Jerry Jeff Walker’s ¡Viva Terlingua!, Allman Brothers At Fillmore East, Galactic Coolin Off, and Blind Melon’s Nico versus the minuscule 262 miles. Offer a seat to an individual looking for a seat but isn’t asking. Establish a conversation with a stranger, they may only be a stranger on the surface with a soul just waiting to reconnect. There is a difference between being alone versus lonely, so seek to disrupt the lonely.

You've been up and down down
You've been low low low
Troubled sea so deep, troubled home no sleep
You've been flying so high
Avoiding the road
Pretending to not feel alone
Pretending to not feel alone
- CAAMP, Vagabond

Ryan and Alyssa, I hope you are doing well. I hope that you listened to “Come Downstairs and Say Hello” by Guster, the ceremonial last vape was indeed the last, and that the proposal that Alyssa isn’t "aware" of went well. 


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