Conversations blur. The hours plod on as in-depth discussions about nothing are held over warming beer in a pitcher sitting on the bar’s back deck. Four high school buddies living similar lives, in similar houses, holding similarly routine jobs get together, like they do every week.

The only thing that changes is the weather, which determines if they will sit out on the deck watching the lift bridge over the canal go up and down four or five times, or if they are stuck in doors with the “kids” five or six years younger than them bumping into them on the way to their tables.

They look and sound much the same, though in reality, all the obvious details of their lives aside, they are not. Cam is a manager at the local outlet for an auto supply chain. He loves cars, always has, and loves answering questions about them. Even on a bad day he walks away happy he gets to do something related to what he loves most and brings that happiness home, usually, to his wife and kids.

Scott runs the garden department in the big box home improvement store the next town over. He wants to be in lumber, a slightly manlier department, but he could not turn down the promotion. He  really wants to work as a union mason, but he busted his foot after his senior year in high school, and could not keep up. He generally does not take his frustration out on his family.

Ryan is the church guy. Sure he is a regular dude knocking back the cheap beer with his friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon, but that is his once a week indulgence. His job on campus is just that, a job to provide for his family and one he could do in an office park as well as a university. He has high hopes for his boy, though, and wants more for him.

Last is Jeff, the “wild one.” Having an affair that is no secret, even to his wife, but no one talks about it, he manages the diner for his dad. His girlfriend is one of his waitresses.

Lives so similar, but so different but they forget about that for now. For now life is some brew, some breeze, and meaningless conversation between old friends. That is all any of them could ask for.



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