In Which My Friend Alan Saved the World,
(or at Least the City of Nashville, Tennessee,
[but We Aren’t Really Sure])
It is no small task to define a friendship, or to pinpoint a precise moment in which one could say this or that chum became said chum – there are no (or very few) origin stories for camaraderies, in other words.
Not so with me and Alan Goffinski.
In my advanced age, I can no longer say with certainty which year it was that I first met Alan; what I do recall is that I spent the better part of it willfully confined to a rural Indiana town while he toured the nation as a traveling musician. Each of us remained unaware of the other until, as the year came to a close, we found ourselves living under the same roof. He had deigned to slow down and enjoy a quiet, relaxed existence in quaint, calm Indianapolis. I had dared to upend the solitude I held so dear and immerse myself in the utter chaos of bustling, terrifying Indianapolis.
At the time I believe I knew about seven people, two of whom were my parents. So who the hell, I had to’ve wondered, was this guy moving in with me and my new roommates, and where was he procuring all of these dozens of bags of expired potato chips every night? Our earliest exchanges are lost to the ether of memory fog, on my end at least, but the real story of this friendship’s forging began when – rather unexpectedly – Alan (and future Mrs. Goffinski Alida) invited me to tag along on a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.
I hadn’t left the state in years; I hadn’t taken time off from work in months; and I hadn’t been alone in a room with Alan and/or Alida for more than an hour. There was some deliberation before I said “yes” and put my life in Alan’s hands. I had heard stories about Tennessee, believed none of them to be true because logic dictated they could not be.
Hrmph. Continue reading