My mate Captain Tinarse is a global wanderer. Last time I wrote about him was when he was living in Detroit and he’d just scored some tickets to last year’s All Blacks-Eagles match at Soldier Field in Chicago. I nearly nearly joined him, for the rugby and the blues and the bullshitting we could have done.
Now he’s back in New Zulund for a short sojourn before heading back out to some other benighted part of the world that is desperately in need of his skills.
We caught up yesterday when he was in town and, man, that takes you back. I’ve known him for 35 years, and always we slip back into being those confident young men who know everything better than anyone else.
Except we’re not of course. For a start, he’s grown a bloody hipster beard. Looks like that old reprobate King Edward. (The seventh, not the eighth, and certainly not the fifth.) And I have lost whatever hair I had on my head, and gained it in places I didn’t want.
For another, we have kids, and those bumps and bruises take away the sharp edges of certainty. Smoothed away into a better shape altogether.
But underneath the ageing of age we are still the same people. The same humour, the same slightly cockeyed look at the world, bound back to where we started and how we travelled to here.
And our conversations now are turning towards a nearer future of what we want to do with our remaining time: long hopefully, but not necessarily, and that sharpens the appetite. Talking not in a maudlin bucket list sense, but of the people we want to be with, and the places still to be seen, and the plots still to be hatched, and how to make it all happen.
Family is what you are given, and will always be the bedrock. But friends are what we make ourselves, and add different colours and textures and tones to who we end up to be. Choose well.