I’ve heard it said, the older the friend the better. I don’t mean older, as in ancient or curmudgeon. I mean someone, like my friend, Louis, who has been in my life since childhood. Louis grew up in the same small town, Middleton, where we were both raised.
That makes us sound like cows, or pigs.
And in some ways, I felt that way with twelve siblings. Mom was a regular breeding machine. Pop one out every year or so. Guess they never practiced birth control. Never really practiced much of anything.
I’d go over to Louis’s house just to get away from the noise. He was an only child and his mom doted on him. She was from Capri, a small island I’d never heard of, near Italy. She was so nice, called Louis “Caro” which meant sweetheart. Louis’s father was another story. He was a religious fanatic, one of those Jehovah’s Witnesses that take their bibles door-to-door predicting that Jesus will appear center-stage during our lifetime.
He scared me.
And I think Louis was scared, too, though he’d never talk badly about either of his parents.
By the time we reached high school, we’d drifted into different crowds. I was in an accelerated program for high honor academic achievement. Louis attended a technical school a half a day for carpentry. But we still hung out almost every day after school.