Freak Brothers Reunited

April 24, 2007 at 1:10 am (Waxing Nostalgic)

In my line of work, if you do it long enough, you will run into everyone you’ve ever known. Okay, not really, but it seems that way sometimes.

I’ve had brushes with the famous, the infamous, the scary and the downright nice. Ran into one-night-stands from the late 70s. I’ve seen mug shots on the news, and realized I’d sold that person cigarettes, or refused him/her alcohol, mere hours before. It can seem like a small world, sometimes.

Tonight was a pleasant surprise. A childhood friend dropped in to say hello. I’d seen him a couple of months back at a funeral; we hugged, swapped cell phone numbers, and immediately went back to our lives. So when he rolled in tonight, requesting ‘Spare change?” the heartfelt ‘Fuck off’ was tempered with a smile as I recognized who he was.

He, another fellow and I were all raised in a strict religious environment, and rebelled together as teenhood struck. At the time, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers were popular, and a perfect fit for our personas. Tonight’s visitor was Phineas, my other friend the splitting image of Freewheeling Franklin. (Yours truly earning the ‘doobie’-ous distinction of Fat Freddy. Although I am allergic to cats, rumor has it I once tried to fry an apricot.)

On my 20th birthday, Phineas and I drove over the mountain, to the Indian reservation in the desert. Since we’d stayed up all night drinking, we were responsible and had breakfast before leaving. I had chili, he had eggs. We had to pull over and air the car out no less than three times. And laughed about it for months after.

We’ve managed to stay in touch over the last 35 or so years. Stood up at each other’s weddings. There have been funerals as well; fortunately we weren’t the guests of honor. (Although we all have come close a time or two.) Phineas has been set on fire in a motorcycle accident, and after recovering from that, was run over by an old lady, crushing both legs. But he’s doing much better now…

So many good stories to tell, I could write for months. Where to begin? Drinking stories? Mischief stories? The time he, his GF and I snorted a gram of coke in the old Broadway Theater during a sixty-nine cent matinee of Motel Hell? The time we drank a bottle of gin, he passed out after eating a box of raspberry donuts, and thought he was hemorrhaging? (It was funnier than it sounds.) Or maybe the time he hooked up a large rubber spider to a fishing reel, so he could lower it down over the principal’s head during morning prayer.

We have both gotten older, if not necessarily wiser. He’s cleaned up his act completely, and is now driving truck for a living. After all he’s been through, it’s good to know he’s in an all-right place.

Note to self- buy Phineas a box of Hostess raspberry donuts for Xmas…

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