The Straight and Narrow

Memoirs of a Downward Facing Dog

When was the last time you went bumper bowling? Can’t remember? Ya, me neither. But every writer is allowed their literary meataphors, and bumper bowling will suffice for now.

You see, without those inflatable bumpers lining the bowling lane, your ball might end up right in the gutter. With the help of those blown-up lane frames, however, your ball might meander back and forth, careening from side to side but inevitably it keeps its course and continues forward to knock out a pin or two.

I started a life in Portland, but I left a life in Montreal. And for all the potential that Portland holds, the “life” there has not yet developed. What is lacking is bumper bowling. Or rather, my friends. Because my friends are my bumpers.

There are some people in life that are touchstones. People that immediately ground you. A common denominator to which everything else is a fraction. When life pulls you off course, like a compass, they are the ones who magnetically draw you back.  When you are blubbering, and slobbering and basically a mess and they are the ones that say, “Sit up straight, man! Pull up your boots and strap on your face!”

Where would we be without the feedback from our friends? Like a mirror, they provide that gentle reflection that only those who know your soul can. Truthful. Supportive. And sometimes, brutally honest. When life has you swerving to and fro, they are the ones that bump you back into your lane to continue rolling forward. They are the people that remind you of who you are, where you’re headed and what you’re worth. With whom you are real and with whom bullshit need not apply.

The older I get the more I realize that good friends are a rare commodity. You are lucky if you can count them on one hand. I am lucky that my fingers are full, and though for now, they all live far away, I am loved across the miles.

This is dedicated to my people. You keep me smiling. You keep me moving forward. You keep me real. And without you, I might just be a gutter ball.


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