So today, as you read this, Kid and Nose are bound for the People’s Republic of Massachusetts to hang out with a couple of Nose’s old (civilian) friends.
They are both interesting characters. Don (not his real name) is a former high-powered salesman who nearly lost everything to Old Demon Alcohol. He has a new life as a part-time chef in a rehab joint — the very one that saved him — where he’s also a role model to the attendees. The sad fact is that most of them do not succeed. The ones that do succeed don’t often do it on their first attempt.
It’s funny that a frendship still endures, when it was originally built, largely, on booze, chasing women, and sports cars. These days we’re not boozing, for different reasons; we’re both cynical about women; and we haven’t got a single “interesting” car between us.
Eric (not his real name), the other fellow was, and is, a brilliant software engineer who works on projects you haven’t heard of for a company whose technology you have probably used within the last couple of hours. He’s also a bon vivant and sportsman, although his life too has seen abrupt changes. An immigrant with no trace of an accent, he still loves Old Country comfort food recipes and is our reliable guide to the best in that nation’s cuisine.
Eric was a sports car and motorcycle guy, until an inattentive woman t-boned his motorcycle and left him paralyzed at about the nipple line of his chest. Sure, he got a decent settlement, but it’s not like anything can be done for him — yet.
Mostly, he gets around perfectly well and you forget he’s in the chair. It’s good to have a face to put with wheelchair ramps and curb cuts, sometimes. He drives a car with hand controls. Every time we see some able-bodied jerk in a hurry park in a handicap spot, we think of Eric and get angry. Eric sees it and he just laughs; that’s the kind of guy he is.
Neither of these guys is a gun guy, so we’re unlikely to talk about that. Our conversation will likely cover all the usual subjects but there will be a lot of science and technology and futurism, ’cause we all dig that stuff. And we’re hoping to see Kid square off against Eric in a video game, because they’re both enthusiastic gamers.
We do not like going to the PRM and avoid it when possible. We go for events at a college where the family name is on stuff, and we go to meet friends, and we pass through there on our way to the rest of the United States much the way we used to travel the Autobahn Helmstedt-Berlin.
Update — Oops
About midnight this AM we noticed that the Friday Tour d’Horizon hadn’t gone live. It’s been put up now. Sheesh….