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My friend


Throughout High School Rob was my best friend. We had little in common. He played the Violin. I played basketball. He was studious. I was lethargic. He was serious. I was a clown. Somehow we developed a bond.

His family knew everybody. Prominent in their living room was the picture of his father with Albert Einstein. They weren’t showing off. He had been a friend.

We wrote together. I punched up his humor (which wasn’t bad on it’s own), He corrected my grammar (which was bad on it’s own). We wrote a book about our school for a senior project. I still have the uncensored handwritten version. I haven’t looked at it in years.

We traveled together, along with a third friend, throughout Europe in 1976. Rob was our tour guide. He had lived in London as a youth, and had made many trips to the continent.

I was at his wedding in 1983. I also spoke to him frequently when he decided to get a divorce in 1985 because he acknowledged that he was gay.

Our lifestyles were quite different. I was beginning my legal career. He was writing for the New York Times. I became uncomfortable with his experimentation with drugs. I don’t think it ever became habitual, but often when I saw him he felt the necessity to be high. So ultimately our friendship faded.

Between 1989 and 1999 I spoke to him once. It was an un fulfilling conversation. Through both of our lack of efforts the bond was gone.

In January 2000, I heard that Rob had died on December 6, 1999. Last week was the eighth anniversary of his death. I carried his mother’s telephone number in my wallet for about a year after his death, but never called her.

I investigated him and found that he had become a successful writer about music. I would have liked to have shared his success with him.

I remembered him today because I realized that his birthday was approaching. I miss many of the friends of my youth, but I miss Rob more. I hope to never let a good friendship fade away again.



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