Two life-long friends reminisce.
Me and Ralphie
My oldest and dearest friend and I were warming our hands over the firepit in my backyard, reminiscing about the “good old days”. The autumn air was nippy, and the warmth of the fire was comforting.
"I loved the Fall when we were kids," I said. “We had so much fun.”
"The Fall, yes," Ralphie said and lapsed into silence.
" Can you believe it's been sixty years since we hid from your dad in those huge mounds of oak leaves in your backyard?"
"From my dad, yes,” he said. “Now we just rake them."
"Well, not lately, Ralphie."
"No fun anymore. Just rake the darn things.”
I changed the subject.
"The campfire at Scout camp. Roasting marshmallows on sticks over the flames. Remember?"
"Now I build the fire and buy the marshmallows. And my darn kids have all the fun.”
Ralphie was in one of his moods.
“All the darn fun!”
"Not lately, Ralphie.”
“No? Why not? Something happen to my kids?” he said, getting agitated.
I jumped in with, "Remember the pumpkin carving contests? Having permission to use a sharp knife was--"
"Emily, are you awake?" Ralphie called through the slider. "Emmy?"
Ralphie's wife, Emily, had been gone for ten years. Cancer.
"Ralphie, how about we go inside? I think it’s time for your medication."
“I’m cold,” he said, “and I have to take a leak.”
I guided my friend through the sliding door. I would come out later and douse the fire. First things first. I had to drive Ralphie back to the nursing home.