Jim didn’t really have friends. He had always pretty much been a loner. There were acquaintances.That’s true. In earlier years it had been different. During his school years, and even as a young man, Jim had been the life of any party. He was funny, and that always kept people around him.
As the years went on, life dealt Jim a series of cruel blows. On the outside, it seemed as if he took it all in stride. He appeared to be able to laugh it all off. But, as we all know, things aren’t always as they seem. Jim used his wit and sense of humor to fool people into thinking all was well. He used his traits to keep people from seeing what was really happening to him.
It seems there are those on whom life weighs particularly heavy. It would be difficult to paint a fictional scenario which would inflict more painful physiological wounds than the hand fate had dealt Jim. There was one friend, however, who would remain true through the years.
Bill was a free spirit. A rebel. He was much like Jim, in that he never knew a stranger. He could talk with anyone, and he had the same quirky sense of humor as Jim.
Bill’s passion was motorcycles. He liked to feel the wind in his face. He liked to ride fast. Jim wasn’t a bike rider, but he and Bill seemed to be seen together often.
Life had been an adventure for Bill. But, as with Jim, seeking adventure was often a way to run from life as they knew it.
Anyway, the years passed, and folks didn’t seem to see Jim and Bill together anymore. As a matter of fact, it had been years since anyone could remember seeing Bill. People continued to ask Jim about Bill for some time. He would always get a far away look when asked, but he was quick with a story of one of their adventures.
It happened slowly, but folks began to see less of Jim. By the time he’d reached his 50s, he was seldom ever seen. When old friends did see him, they always found him as if he were in a hurry to get somewhere. He didn’t stop to make the small talk he was known for.
Bill continued on, as Jim’s only real friend. It didn’t matter that he hadn’t been seen in years now. He continued to be true to Jim. Nothing would ever come between their friendship–not even the motorcycle crash that took Bill’s life all those many years ago.
FOOTNOTE: This story is written to honor the memory of my best friend, Roy West, who at the age of 33, lost his earthly life, in a motorcycle crash, on February 22, 2000.
“It’s been too long, Roy. We’ll have to get together real soon.”