I called my nephew yesterday. He's a tad less than a year and a half younger than I. Growing up, we were always cool (or so we thought). As evidenced by this photo, we predated the Blues Brothers my more than thirty years!
But our phone calls have fallen off from multiple daily conversations of elation or gloom shared in reaction to the stock market back in the late 90s -- early 2000s. We can't afford such luxuries now. Mostly because, besides being retired, the turn of the century stock market's irrational exuberance has long since sobered and evaporated. Three or four calls per day have now become 3 or 4 per year.
The occasion for my most recent call was an impending surgery (somewhere between major and minor) my nephew is undergoing tomorrow. To check in. To listen. To let him know we're with him in thought and spirit. And, I guess, to reaffirm, despite all this time, that no matter the miles that separate us or years since our paths forked and went down separate pathways, we're still connected.
I think it's only natural when reconnecting at such moments to ponder whether there'll be sufficient common ground to carry the conversation.
Growing up we discovered many common things we shared a fascination or love for: Fire, smoking, alcohol, cars and, of course, girls. You see, wherein our hormonal fluxes of the 50s and 60s gave us those wonderful shared interests of GTOs, military MOSs, ETSs and, of course, T&As. But there was a period of time we fell into silence. That was during the late 70s. It lasted into the 90s. I think of that period as *the missing years.*
But then came the bubble years of irrational exuberance and we rediscovered common ground in the stock market in the form of EPSs, IPOs and IRAs.
Yet, that all crashed and we fell into silence once more. So it was only natural to worry if we'd ever be able to find anything to talk about when I called yesterday outside his looming surgery and the good old days. Any such worries I may have entertained vanished within seconds of conversation's beginning.
I realized the adolescent focus on boobs and butts has simply shifted. We're now into more intimate things like bladders and prostates. Conversations of T&As have simply evolved into talking of PSAs and MRIs.