Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Long ago and far away, my wife and I decided to give a party at our house. We knew a fair number of people from different backgrounds, some of whom were our good friends, some not as close, and we thought, How cool would it be to get them altogether?

We thought, Hey, we like all these people, so they'll like each other!

Yeah, yeah, I know. We were a lot younger. We didn't have a clue that the chances of that happening were slim and snowball.

The party came and went. Nobody got violent, nobody spat on anybody, there was a certain civility, but boy, howdy, some of these folks truly did not like some of others. It was, at the time, profoundly disappointing.

Live and learn.

I'm fond of the Dave Mason song, "We Just Disagree." I include it in my repertoire, and it's one of my best numbers -- I can play the chords, and in the key I use, hit the high notes and make it sound not-too-awful.

Here's the chorus:

So let's leave it alone, 'cause we can't see eye to eye/
There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys/
There's only you and me and we just disagree/
Ooo - ooo - ooohoo oh - oh - o-whoa ...

I looked up recently and realized that a lot of folks I enjoy talking to, mostly at an electronic remove, but some personally who I get along with, don't get along with each other. I've learned that's not a necessity for me. My friend R___ thinks M___ is a swell fellow, and I think M___ is, well, not-so-swell, save for his head.

My buddy T___ detests my pal F___ in the extreme, but I like him just fine.

Whaddya gonna do?

Some of them used to seem to be able to talk to each other, and offered friendship and respect, but as these things do, their paths diverged and that's past tense.

I don't take sides. I used to, and after finding out I was wrong about who was the problem with that lovely married couple we knew, or this buddy or that, I realized that I could only speak for my own viewpoint, and my view on what goes on between any other two people is, when you get right down to it, not something I can ever really know.

No, I'm not naming names here, and none of the folks I run with have put me in that awkward place by saying if I'm their friend, then I can't be X's friend, which is good. Like that symbol I drew for the cover of my old hippie novel, I find peace much more attractive as I get older.

So. Pax ...

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