Cleveland is gray. Always. Walking alone, even in these best of times, is dreary.  Day or night it feels like 4 PM.

It occurred to me just yesterday that what I need is a buddy. On a gray January weekend, with nothing to do and plenty time to do it in, I needed a “go-to” pal—someone to just hang with.

It is a function of time and circumstance, but most of the guys I know are in relationships. For some it’s a first marriage–perhaps it’s a second. Others, (so they confide), trudge in  less-than-passionate partnerships, content with “companionship”.  As such, the pool of would-be sidekicks is limited.

What I need is a Cosmo Kramer…you know: that always accessible pal across the hall whom if you need a wingman, whatever the activity…he’s down with it. Was there ever a time in nine seasons that Kramer rejected an invitation?

“Kramer, you want to go to the airport?”

“Kramer, you want to go steal a dog?”
“I’m in.”

“Hey Kramer, you want to—”

No, I don’t need someone to talk to. I’ve plenty of friends—good friends—and always an ear if required. They’ve got wives though; they’re busy.

Andy Taylor had Barney and even Chandler had Joey. I need a buddy.

Max, of course, would be perfect. (Note to Lucy: You’re still too young). A sports fan, albeit Yankee, he’s easy to get along with and never complains. Indeed, his regular naptimes would allow me to slot him in for either mornings or afternoons and still leave my evenings open for activity. It would be win-win. If only he lived in town…or could drive.

Come to think of it, the last time I had a real “buddy” it was Michael. Those were the days when he was still the only child and we’d go—just the two of us—to Bagel Nosh on Mayfield. He’d sit there in a wooden highchair and gum a giant bagel overflowing with creamed cheese as I’d sit face buried in the morning’s sports section. Years later the restaurant’s gone, my son’s left town, and the paper: it’s not worth reading.

Yeah, I need a buddy. Not one of my encumbered friends that calls sporadically, when he can sneak out of the house. No, I need someone I can count on…someone that can maybe play cards, enjoys nonsense, and likes sports. Is that so much to ask?

It’ll be a temporary job, at best. I’ve got Max, you see, and Lucy in the pipeline. Neither, though, will drive ‘til sixteen. That’s a lot of weekends from now.

In the meantime I’ll wait. The days are getting longer now and in the distance I hear spring.


2 Responses to “RUNNING ON EMPTY”

  1. Jackie says:

    Baby- You’re running on full 🙂

  2. Mark E says:

    Lets compromise…………… move to Columbus and I will become that full time buddy. Especially if I retire in the next two years, I am going to need someone.

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