So I’m talking to my friend Greg, the one for whom each new girl was, “Real ” at least for a weekend, although most weekends for him were spent taking a rest from life and romance, until he met his wife Sandra,that is, when the clouds cleared briefly, and he settled down for a life of domestic servitude: I mean who needs too much intensity anyway, and he seemed happy enough living by someone else’s agenda. We all like a little fun but now he looked down in the dumps, even by his humbling standards, and then it got worse.
“Do you believe in Hope?” he asked me, and I’m telling you, there is nothing worse than an introspective depressive, unless you are talking a drunk introspective depressive or, the final challenge, a drunk introspective depressive talking to his oldest friend, which is what I am, about philosophy.
I mean normally what’s not to like: he’s “One of the pack:” good to know, buys his round, loyal to a fault, and that pretty much defines friendship in my book. He has failings: he’s clever, but in that wasted “Off the wall” way that teachers don’t recognise, and girls always seemed to be put off by his outsized chin, till he met Sandra, that is, but then we can’t all be floored by inner beauty can we, and she’s no oil painting herself, and if she were an oil painting, she’d require a pretty big frame if you’re hearing me, but I’m straying from the point. The question he posed was, “Do you believe in hope?” and do you know what kind of people ask that question? The people who don’t feel any.
Let’s talk solid here. You don’t get a guy walking out for the best night ever with a girl who adores him on his arm, clutching a winning lottery ticket saying “Do you believe in hope?” because those people are too busy having fun to talk philosophy. Philosophy is for miserable people making an excuse for not having fun, or being passed over for promotion or just missing out on life: period, and that pretty much defines our Greg.
Still, I don’t want to leave the guy drowning on his own so I ask him, “Are we talking deep- space hope or just “Will I get a holiday?” hope, because, deep-space wise, life’s just a black hole Greg, and I snort a load of beer down my shirt because, lets hang out the truth here, I can be funny.
OK, more truth, Greg wasn’t laughing so I asked him what his problem was and he said, “It’s all deep space to me Fred, and Sandra’s left me” and there you have it. He’s” Clever in a wasted way” and so I raise my glass and give him the only advice I have to give. “While there’s beer there’s hope and I’ll keep drinking as long as you buy the rounds” and he walks off to the bar without a word. After all, what are friends for!