I pulled out a journal from 1995 tonight, "The Single Years." In it, I had recorded a time when I had gone to my mailbox and was pleasantly surprised to find a letter from my friend Troy. At that point, I had known Troy for eight years. In that time, we had created a treasure trove of memories that can still make me smile.
I met Troy in youth group and found a friend that I could laugh with. Troy was funny. I consider myself to have a picky sense of humor, but Troy could have me rolling on the floor (in modern script, ROFL). So my daily agenda was basically work and then going to Troy's house. There was a succession of days where we had seen each other every day, 14, 15 in a row I'd say, and one night I barely made it to his house before midnight to keep our streak going.
We made movies with his 35mm film camera. One feature was titled "Terror Talk Show," our version of an 80's teen thrasher comedy that we thought was hilarious. There was no audio in our film, but we would watch it and ROFL! Our youth pastor even let us premiere it in youth group.
I could rattle off a list of inside jokes that formulated out of our friendship that we would repeat to each other and just crack up. They did not lose their hilarity with repetition. I could say to my wife, "Your hair's to the side. Looks good," and she would look at me like I need to be committed, but if I said those same words to Troy, we'd be busting a gut, and the inside jokes would just flow from there. That letter I received from him in 1995 contained several of what we liked to call our "Top 10's." I took that cherished piece of mail, sat down and just... ROFL.
The last time I saw Troy was in August of 2008. I had just gone through my parents' house itemizing their belongings for probate. That coupled with terse exchanges between grieving family members made for a heavy day. Knowing I would be in my home town, I called Troy beforehand and asked if he would be available for dinner after the anticipated unpleasantness. Thank God he was. He took me to a good Chinese restaurant and we had a chance to catch up. He let me unload on him about the day, and instead of laughing, there were some tears on my part. He just sat with me and listened and let me cry.
We've been in contact a little since then, a post here and there on each other's facebook page, or a message sent. But I'm realizing it's not the frequency of the conversations with good friends that matters, it's the quality, and with Troy, it's always been high end.
"Monique! Freet! Why aren't you with Ricky?" (a top 10 hit).