With a little help from my friends.” Lately I find myself quoting the dynamic duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney (I still quote Biggie and Pac more than I should too!).  Despite the poignant lyrics, I’m not one to call on somebody for help. Mainly because I don’t want to owe anyone anything, but also because I have big pride.  I rarely ask favors unless it effects the comfort or safety of my family, and is the direct result of me screwing up. Lucky for me those instances are closer to never than they are to often. That said, sometimes you need a little help from your friends.

Last weekend my wife and I went to pick-up the boy from his grandmother’s house, which is about 45 minutes away from our home. She lives in lower Manhattan so, of course, there was no parking. My wife and I double parked, and I ran up to get the boy. It’s raining and about 9 pm. All I want is to get the boy and get home. Once I arrive downstairs I load the sleeping boy into the car. The wife then tries to start the car. Nothing. I try. Nothing again. I turn on the hazards and they are dim and slow in the dark wet night. Did I mention my mother-in-law lives in the projects? After a little cursing my wife calls roadside assistance; they say we need a tow. At least a 90 minute wait.  I call my brother and ask him what he thinks.  Here’s the conversation: 

I ask my brother, “Don’t you have cables?  What about the portable jumper you said you keep in the trunk?” 

“Oh yeah, we got one of those.  Babe,” he calls to his girlfriend in the background.  “Where is the car battery charger?” 

“We don’t have one of those.  We talked about getting one, but we never did,” was the reply. 

“Thanks bro.  I’ll figure something out.” 

Then I call my best friend of the last 17 years.  I tell him the problem, he says it’s definitely the battery.  He asks where I am, and he’s there in about 30 minutes.  By this time it’s about 11:30, still raining, and no roadside assistance in sight.  When he gets out of the car to save my ass I realize that I haven’t seen him in months.  We chat as the car charged, and made plans to hang out next month.  As we take the cables off the cars the man I’m blocking in comes downstairs and asks if I’m getting out of his way.  My buddy got there just in time!  I gave him the ghetto hug and held it too long in a show of appreciation. 

What stands out about that night is that he didn’t hem and haw, he just asked me where we were.  There was no annoyance, no hesitation; he was being a true friend.  He doesn’t call me for favors often because he usually uses his dad as a first option for everything.  I don’t have an accessible dad, so I call my brothers, or him (my brother from another mother).  I hope my son is blessed enough to have such a loyal and generous life-long friend.