Today my good friend Lee is flying in all the way from San Francisco for a visit to our hometown of Tucker, Ga. Lee, or Lee-bowski if you will, is one of several funny souls I have kept on the friends roster since our days at Tucker High School. Lee, and our high school buddies "Darth Hunt," "Old Blue" and maybe even our boy "Possum" (don't ask), will head out into the wild Tucker night to do some catching up.
I hang out with my remaining Atlanta-based friends from high school on a regular basis, going to concerts, Thrashers games, Braves games, or the occasional brew-ha-ha in Athens, Ga. I feel I'm in the minority though, as most of my current aqauntainces and coworkers express little to no interest in what their old high school classmates are doing. I find it odd that most people do not have a solid connection with at least a few people that they went through such an awkward but defining period of their life with. It's not that high school was a social or academic blast for me, sometimes it was pure hell, but I still made friends who I have kept despite their going off to college all the way on the "left coast."
Why are these people important? Besides being some of the only people still man enough to head bang with me at a Metallica concert, they are a link to my personal history and the crafters of my experience, the base station that sends the single responsible for my sense of humor.
We all share a common love for the computer arts and the cinema, priding ourselves and competing with the other for who has the best collection of DVDs. Humor though, is key for me because being without laughter is like being a warrior without a spear, a prisoner in "Oz" without a shank. If you are going to make it through life you need laughter and you need friends to provide it, can't always rely on the television because sitcoms have fallen victim to the plague that is reality TV.
My friends, whether they remain here or move across the globe, provide me with a sense of community both here and wherever in the world I shall meet them again. I think of my friends how author Vladimir Nabakov described his books, just waiting to be opened. Whenever opened, the reader and author will re-establish a connection once again.
Indeed, I will have a fun visit with Lee while he's here in Atlanta, my only friend willing to entertain conversations about coveted geek films such as "Being John Malkovich" or "Schizopolis." Tonight I can enjoy myself knowing there will be no need for introductions, we all have our shared history and acknowledged debts to one another. Tonight I look forward to carrying on conversations almost entirely in movie quotes, speaking our own language, and making cryptic references to ancient inside jokes that will have me howling just like it happened yesterday.
To recap, "Some Talking Points" or "Why did I read this?" First, if you don't have friends, you will need some, from the looks of the Hollywood blockbusters, mass destruction is imminent. Second, friends are good, but ones from high school are better. Third, being antisocial is the best way to have concerned relatives put you in a home. Finally, in life you will need much laughter, but in prison you will need a shank as well.
Zach Porter is a photographer with the News Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 770-478-5753 ext. 248.