Crunch and I took a statistics class together. That's how we first met. We ended up doing some group work together, and then started hanging out even after our semester project was done. He was a pretty smart guy when it came to math. He was studying to be an accountant, looking to crunch the numbers. That's why I call him Crunch. He was the youngest in a large family, the first to go to college. He took a different path from everyone else. He succeeded when they expected him to fail. In him, I could sense a rebellious spirit with an incredible strength. Tell him he couldn't do anything, and he'd work twice as hard to get it done. I could identify with that. I admired that indomitable spirit. But as focused and intense as he was when working on a project, he knew how to let go and have fun like the rest of us.
After graduation, Crunch worked for a small accounting firm. In a few years he moved on to a company that specialized restructuring the finances of companies looking to downsize, grow, or merge. His job takes him all over the world, always traveling. So having him in town was always a treat. It's rare that all four of us ever get to hang out anymore. Lunch with friends is more than just a meal; it's an event.
The waitress returned to refill our drinks. When she left, Crunch began his tale of what had happened the night before,"Well, it was pretty normal; I mean, we ended up at her place, and once we got to the bedroom, she turned on some music to set the mood. Then she started dancing and taking her clothes off."
"Like a stripper?," asked Flash.
"Yes, but without the pole," answered Crunch,"although, I got the feeling she was pretty familiar with working around poles."
We laughed at that. Crunch continued,"Anyways, we finally got down to doing it. She was wild and noisy! And when we were done, we laid on the bed, all sweaty and trying to catch our breath."
"Sounds like you had a good time," I said.
"I did," replied Crunch,"but then ten minutes after that, things got really weird."
"What you mean weird?," asked Flyboy.
"Well, we heard a truck pulling in; she jumped off the bed and ran out the door. I didn't know what to think. But she ran back in and grabbed my clothes, threw them at me, and told me to shut up and hide in the closet."
"What?," asked Flash.
"Yeah," said Crunch,"She pushed me in the closet, told me to keep quiet because her husband was home earlier than expected!"
We groaned and laughed at that. "Dude," said Flash,"You were messing with a married woman! Homewrecker!"
We kept on laughing. "So what happened next?," asked Flyboy.
Crunch answered,"Well, I was kind of flabbergasted at being shoved in the closet. The closet doors had those horizontal slits in them that lets you see into the room. She jumped in the bed, threw on the covers just as the husband walked through the bedroom door. She acted all surprised that he was home early. That dude was huge! He was like a big bear!"
"Did he say 'Someone's been in my bed!'," joked Flash.
We burst out laughing as Crunch narrated,"Nope! Luckily, the wife turned on the music while the husband took off his shoes. She started kissing him and making out with him."
"What?," I asked.
"Yeah," said Crunch,"They started going at it."
"Holy crap!," exclaimed Flash,"All while you were hiding in the closet?"
"Yup," said Crunch,"They went at it, making all sorts of loud noises while I was still in the closet." We laughed some more at the thought of Crunch hiding in the closet while the couple was getting it on.
"How did you get out?," I asked.
"Well," answered Crunch,"luckily, he passed out when he was done. It didn't that long, but it was long enough to wear him out. Soon as the dude started snoring, his wife signaled for me to come out of the closet and leave. I wasn't sure at first, but she winked and mouthed that it was okay. So I slowly opened the closet doors and with my clothes in hand, I snuck out the bedroom. Put on my pants by the door and got the hell out! Didn't even stop to put on my shoes and shirt til I was around the block."
The image of Crunch running down the sidewalk in the dark with no shoes and no shirt got us laughing again. Soon enough, the waitress returned with our orders. And as we ate our lunch and joked about our experiences, I made mental note to take in everything, to pay close attention to the moment. It's been over a year since we last saw each other. It's hard to believe that a few years ago, we were college kids chasing girls and parties on the beaches; staying up late to study for midterms; living off of pizza and fast food places. It just felt good to reconnect and spend time with good friends and continue to share our lives and experiences. I looked at every one of them, and I realized that as different as our backgrounds were and the directions our lives had taken, we shared a rebellious, independent, adventurous spirit. We didn't let others tell us how to live; we chose our own paths and in each other we found a kindred spirit, we found a friend, someone who understood.
When we were done eating, we paid our tab and left the waitress a big tip. It was nearly two in the afternoon. Still a lot of sunshine, so we did what we did best, went home and grabbed our gear and headed to the beach. Along the way, we stopped at store to pick up some snacks and alcohol. It was Crunch's turn to be our designated driver. The rest of the afternoon, we hung out at the beach, caught some waves, and just laughed like we hadn't in a long time. The next day, we'd go our separate ways again, never knowing when we'll ever have the opportunity to be together again. But that didn't matter. The important thing was that we were here now, and whatever happens after, we know that we'll always be there for each other. And for the next few hours, we were just four friends enjoying the surf and sun, no worries, no cares, just having a good time.
The most important moments in our lives come and go quickly. We can't hold on to them; we can't really plan for them. So when they happen, we need to embrace them, and live in them for as long we can. Cherish the people you luv in your life, and let them know how much they mean to you. You never know what the future might bring. Now is all we have, so make the most of it, because life is really too short.