Monday, December 10, 2012

Old Friends - Like Bookends

There is no holiday spirit, and certainly no Christmas spirit in me this year.

Daily visuals of the elderly in our midst draw me in as never before and I wonder what will become of me when/if I reach that dottering stage.  I watch as these people walk, hardly able to put one foot ahead of the other and wonder if that is to be my fate, as well. The Simon & Garfunkel song, "Old Friends" from their "Bookends" album, touches me more deeply these days.

Old friends, old friends sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blowin' through the grass
Falls on the round toes of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sun
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settles like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years, silently sharing the same fears.

Time it was and what a time it was, it was A time of innocence, a time of confidences Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph. Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.

I'd prefer this scenario from Merrily We Roll Along by Mr. Sondheim:

Old Friends
Hey, old friends,
How do we stay old friends?
Who is to say, old friends,
How an old friendship survives?
One day chums
Having a laugh a minute,
One day comes
And they're a part of your lives.

New friends pour
Through the revolving door-
Maybe there's one that's more.
If you find one, that'll do.
But us, old friends,
What's to discuss, old friends?
Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Two old friends,
Fewer won't do, old friends-
Gotta have two old friends
Helping you balance along:
One upbraids you
For your faults and fancies,
One persuades you
That the other one's wrong.

Most friends fade
Or they don't make the grade.
New ones are quickly made,
Perfect as long as they're new.
But us, old friends,
What's to discuss, old friends?
Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few!
No photographs. No family will be around to care for, or about me. And no "old friends" left to share the "new" or that park bench. The restaurant staff holiday party is tomorrow evening. I wonder if I will have the energy to attend.

And so it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I know the Sondheim song but it never struck me in a whistful way before. Perhaps it is because I have never seen the show. Thanks for the reminder of a couple of songs I haven't thought of in a while..


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