Friends In All Places

Posted by Dane Carder on February 25, 2019

I met a friend for tea this morning, and while standing in line, I got a bear hug from behind me… a big bear hug. I’m not familiar at all with this sort of hug from behind, and when I discover who it is, it makes perfect sense. It’s a Texas born singer songwriter that I know well enough for him to feel comfortable mugging me as he did, but we’re not really close friends. He’s a big hearted guy, and he immediately started singing my praise to the barista… It was all quick, intense and a little bit weird, but very much enjoyed. I know this guy from a “membership based coffee club” that was located in the building where my studio is. We would cross paths occasionally there, and he’d often be entertaining a small contingency of friends/fans. He is loud and fun, and I’m not so much of those. I finished placing my order and went to sit where my friend was waiting. Just after taking off my coat and sitting down, right in front of me I notice a woman who I know slightly less than the bear hugger. She sees me, and I feel us both make a slight adjustment in our chairs, internally questioning if we are “friends enough” to get out of our chairs and hug or at least greet each other closer… We both get up. She offers a quick reminder of who she is, and it’s a bit muffled by my “how’s it going” and the friendly hug. We spend a brief moment with updates and genuine kindness, and then return to our chairs. My friend lightly laughs, and quips, “You’re famous.” Well, that’s not true, but, because I have lived in Nashville for forty-six years, it is rare that I go somewhere and don’t see someone that I know… or, someone I have met through one of my three siblings or briefly during an art opening or something. Some might leave town if this were the case for them, and I have surely thought about moving to where no one knows me, disappearing… But, I am fond of the random crossing of paths, never knowing who’s going to be dining in the same restaurant, or have a child on my daughter’s soccer team, or who I’ll pass on the path at Radnor, and on and on. My brother regularly repeats a quote he heard once, and it is something like “There are only two things in this world… relationships and junk.”

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