It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s one of these nights you wish it never ended.
I am in Dortmund. Although the city feels run down, dirty and overrun, it’s home to me. I met up with old school friends and we were planning, well talking about, the 50th anniversary of our ‘Abitur’, or Leaving Cert, in a few years time. Would we try to do something special in Dortmund? Would we re-live one of the school trips we went on when we were still together in school? Or organise something completely bunkers, mad, insane, and different?
I was thinking why we were interested in doing anything together at all? We really don’t know much about our lives. Yet, we like our company.
I have no idea why Dortmund attracts me. I have no idea why I enjoy the company of people so much who I only see every couple of years?
Maybe there isn’t any reason. Maybe it cannot be explained. Maybe there isn’t any need to explain it.
I might have mentioned at some stage that I wanted to write a book about what happened to Pádraig. There are so many approaches to the idea and I never could make up my mind.
This morning, this very early morning, sitting on the plane to Düsseldorf, I had what I think is an idea. I will use the title of songs to structure the book. Like: Forever young. Skyfall. Wake me up. This is me.
I have thought about June of this year. It’ll be ten years since Pádraig’s accident.
Is there any point in trying to explain to anybody what that accident and its aftermath did to Pádraig and us? Going back to Cape Cod. Inviting to meet the driver, Mr Couto, to meet us?
There is a sadness and a horror that is not just in our minds but in our bodies. It’s physical. There is also a purpose and a power, a love, commitment, and deep friendships, we’d never have experienced if life had been ‘normal’.
There is nothing we can change about what happened.
There is much we can change in the way we deal with it.