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!).Â 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.Â 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.Â I call my brother and ask him what he thinks.Â Here’s the conversation:Â
I ask my brother, “Don’t you have cables?Â What about the portable jumper you said you keep in the trunk?”Â
“Oh yeah, we got one of those.Â Babe,” he calls to his girlfriend in the background.Â “Where is the car battery charger?”Â
“We don’t have one of those.Â We talked about getting one, but we never did,” was the reply.Â
“Thanks bro.Â I’ll figure something out.”Â
Then I call my best friend of the last 17 years.Â I tell him the problem, he says it’s definitely the battery.Â He asks where I am, and he’s there in about 30 minutes.Â By this time it’s about 11:30, still raining, and no roadside assistance in sight.Â When he gets out of the car to save my ass I realize that I haven’t seen him in months.Â We chat as the car charged, and made plans to hang out next month.Â 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.Â My buddy got there just in time!Â I gave him the ghetto hug and held it too long in a show of appreciation.Â
What stands out about that night is that he didn’t hem and haw, he just asked me where we were.Â There was no annoyance, no hesitation; he was being a true friend.Â He doesn’t call me for favors often because he usually uses his dad as a first option for everything.Â I don’t have an accessible dad, so I call my brothers, or him (my brother from another mother).Â I hope my son is blessed enough to have such a loyal and generous life-long friend.
I know how you feel. I have no family here in LA and my best friend just moved away so I’m reading your post and wondering who exactly I’d call.
Sometimes it takes a “crisis” to figure out who your “true” friends are. I think stories like the one you’ve just shared teach us, as well, the value of being a good friend to others. The older you get, the more you learn to appreciate the value of such.
He knows your heart, and reflects it. One gets as one gives, no?
Perhaps your son will most mirror the first inclinations of this true friend of yours, and call his Dad first; his trusty backup always there in the wings, if needed.
That reminds me of my best friend…but she grew to be a best friend for me…We had worked together for a little over 6 months but didnt’ really talk till she fell ill…nevertheless she showed me what true friendship was about!
When I had my daughter, I had just been accepted to grad school. I was ready to give up on grad school when she volunteered to watch my daughter the evenings I had class…She never complained even though my daughter was a screamer and a crier! Thanks Debra!!!
This is good – I’m glad I have friends like this now.
This post made me smile. I have friends like the one you have that would have done the same thing.
Hey Kieth! I loved this post. It made me smile. And a sister was certainly in need of a smile this afternoon.
I know what you mean when you said your friend didn’t hesitate or display any annoyance by you asking for his help. That’s always wonderful when someone can just come, and come without a sigh or unnecessary questions.
This was my first time visiting your blog. I thought it was fantastic. I think it is wonderful that a African American father is representing on the net. So often, so much focus is put on black fathers that are not there. So, this blog is definitely needed. Plus, since I’m a certified daddy’s girl, I will certainly be coming back to visit you often.
Brother, you have a nice weekend.