Reminiscing About Breaking Into Adulthood

There was seven of us hanging out in the backyard of a close friend’s girlfriend’s parents house the month after we had graduated from high school. Corey the quiet one in his grey long sleeved shirt with the Levi’s logo across his chest in pair of ripped 501’s sitting alone contemplating his weekly preparations before departing for the Army next month. Another buddy of ours across from him, Brian starring down at the lawn as he sits on a red and white striped lawn chair a cold Coors light beer in a red Solo cup contemplating his own next move for the summer ahead before also departing off to an undetermined branch of the military. Tony, Paulie, Mikey and myself all drinking back beer after beer chatting up various topics of life that follow your senior year of high school… colleges we applied to, colleges we didn’t get into, women we never slept with, beer we didn’t drink enough of and the plethora of parties that were to come that summer.

Paulie only known to himself was contemplating entering into the Navy as his parents had given him an ultimatum: You can either go into the military to get educated or you can move out on your own, but you are not living here after you graduate from high school. He never said a word of this to his closest friends. Had he, there may have been more than one guy who signed up for the Navy that summer.

Tony and Mikey had no future plans at the moment. They were both working construction for one of their brothers for the time being to learn a skilled trade. It wouldn’t last long and they too would go their own ways.

Myself, I had been invited into a summer program at a local university in the middle of the City. It was to help transitioning seniors from high school into university life. These classes were also a jump start on the curriculum as well as getting to know a other students in a smaller setting.

Then there was Tommy. This guy looked like he had just stepped out of a GQ magazine everyday with his ultra tanned body with zero hair on it, slick dark black hair and chiseled features. His dark black eyes following every conversation on the deck until he raised his tanned hand lightly gripping a Smirnoff peach cooler and says, “Guys…” pausing momentarily until we all looked over at him, “its with great pleasure that I ask you to join me in a toast. Its been a real pleasure being around the six of you these last three and a half years. I have certainly learnt a ton from you and I look forward to seeing your ugly faces in the near future! Cheers!”

Everyone’s hand raised and just before we all began to drink out of our cups Paulie yells out “Buffalo Bitches!” His laughter erupting as we all grimace and realize we are drinking with our dominant hand and as this rule applies to all beverages being consumed everyone tilts their heads back and drank down their respective alcoholic beverages.

Four of the seven of us ended up joining the military: 2 went into the Army, 1 into the Marines and 1 into the Navy. Two of the four had 20+ years serving in their branch. The other two served their four years and departed the service for civilian life. The other two were in construction for a while then split up and went their own ways and I ended up going in and out of several colleges and universities gathering up a slew of diploma’s and degree’s all whilst traveling this great big world.

Over the years as life rolled onward, some of us got married, some had kids, some built homes and most of us departed our home state. Those friendships faded into the history books as many things tend to do when separated by distance or the willingness to keep in touch initially by hand written letters and phone calls. Followed by email and the various forms of modern day media.

To you six guys: Brian, Corey, Paulie, Mikey, Tony and Tommy, I wish you all the very best as each of us creeps closer and closer to our fifth decade of living on this planet and I am optimistic one day our paths will cross again and we are all able to hoist a hand with a red Solo cup to reminisce about each of our fabled adventures of breaking into adulthood.

I wish you all well.

© 1998 JacksonCrabb Photography, All Right Reserved

This image is protected by Canadian and International copyright laws. Reproduction and distribution of the image without written permission of the owner is strictly prohibited.