I have a friend

I have a friend who, as I write this somewhat early on a snowy, spring Saturday morning, has almost certainly by now made love to his woman, prepared a pot of tea, read a dozen poems and written one or two of his own.

Perhaps he is lacing up his sneakers to head out for a jog. I’ve known him since I was 5 years old, so I can say with confidence that, accompanied only by the sound of his breath and the trees and other landmarks he passes in the periphery, he is contemplating another culinary triumph. He is not a professional chef, but his Malbec-braised lamb PLUS whole chicken — chopped in half and roasted exposed-bones-side-down over charcoal in what used to be a gas grill — continue to simmer in my memory, savory as the first love, who left me for San Francisco.

I sit alone in my office, smoking a cigar, contemplating my tax return, remaining awed by his refulgence, but cognizant of the likelihood of being consumed by his flame were our paths still consistently intertwined.

His is a robust, legendary life. Mine is happy and obscure. Just how it is. No envy, only admiration. And love.