The Old Guard
I just looked at a photo of a guy I knew from primary school. He was my best friend. I went round to his house a lot, more than he’d come to mine. We were playing football in his lounge, listening to Man U stuff Ipswich 9-1. We knocked over a vase…I was terrified, and grovellingly offered to vacuum it up. His mother, thankfully, was charmed.
The this kid moved to Italy, and we kept in touch via letters for a little while, and then nothing. I always wondered what had happened to him.
And along came Facebook, and it was one of the few times I was genuinely happy for it to exist. He’s big now, obviously. Tall, taller than me (he couldn’t believe that, I was up there in the lower ends of primary school). He still plays football, and plays it well. Life looks like it’s working out for him, and I’m glad. But he doesn’t mean anything to me anymore, not like he used to anyway, and I find that a little weird. For 8 years of my life, he was one of the most important things, and now he’s just another person in the ether. We will likely never be that close again, and it wasn’t from some disastrous argument, life just happened to him. If I’d gone to UEA, we’d probably have met up and who knows what kinda friends we’d be now. As it is, just interested people looking at photos on the internet.
P.S. What’s also funny is that my favourite photo of the two of us was from a school trip to the Imperial War Museum…it was a great trip, seemingly so far from the usual school grind – and now I live across from it and it’s become completely every day.
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