If you're one of those short sighted uncaring people who are tired of reading about old guys talking about being an old guy, then you can unplug now and save yourself a ton of grief.
OK, if you are still here I was wondering what is it about being an old guy (I know I should be saying 'person' but that seems so clunky. I know there are old women - don't worry about it.) that sooner or later you think, "Wouldn't it be great to go looking for an old childhood pal you have not seen or heard from for fifty or sixty years"?
There is a clue built into the very thought of searching for an old pal and it is this: how often do old pals look you up? Get it?
Anyway, I went looking for this guy who I was good friends with back in the fifties. Are you with me now? That's several wars ago. I actually found him on FaceBook in the search field and so I contacted him. He was surprised and said he thought I was dead. But he sounded excited to re-connect. So I sent him a catchup email and he acknowledged it promptly saying he was glad to hear that I was still alive and would soon send a note catching me up to his life for he past sixty years. Nothing. Not a peep. It's been months.
At first I was disappointed but then I came to my senses - which is not always the case, in my case. I thought: Well, it seems that he ended up at an ivy type school so he must have been brainy and probably had so much in his life to report that he was still writing his catchup note to me. The sad truth is that he's probably suffering from dementia. It's pretty common among my contemporaries. Probably doesn't even realize we exchanged emails. Sad. I'll send him a get well card.
I have this other high school friend who sends out notices of the passing (read death) of members of our HS class. He and I reconnected through our shared experiences dealing with prostate cancer and the treatment thereof. It seems that there is a greeting, growing in popularity among older men - "How's your prostate"? It's a clubby sort of thing. If you are not an old guy with an enlarged or cancerous prostate this won't mean much to you.
Here's the thing - why try to resurrect relationships that died of natural causes a lifetime ago when there are dozens of people in my own generation who are practically within walking distance?
The answer, of course, is curiosity. Raw, unadorned curiosity. Nothing wrong with it but consider the excessive time and energy it would take to fill in all the gaps between then and now when within arm's length are many who can share life as it is now with all the liver spots, stiff joints, wrinkles, flabby bellies and scary diagnoses. I mean - how good can it get?