One Last Golden Boys Story: The Walk

Our most sacred and enduring ritual is The Walk. We grew up in suburbia. Everytown, USA. Identical houses and identical yards as far as the eye could see. A corner store we could walk to. Four guys in four consecutive houses. All about the same age from average middle class families. Our ritual, when the weather was willing, and sometimes when it wasn’t, was The Walk. The “walk around the block.” In the beginning it was rarely spoken or suggested, it just sort of happened. Any time of day or night it could happen. After we finished swimming or building a fort, or when we got older, after a night out on the town. We would just walk and talk. Some days we would try to fathom the mysteries of our world and some days we just laughed at each other for reasons we wouldn’t remember the next day. We knew every foot of that walk like the back of our hands. We knew who lived in every house, all 56 of them. 58 after they added the two down at the end. It was the best neighborhood in the world as far as we knew, and we felt like we were the kings of it.

The Walk is still our ritual, but it’s changed. None of us lives in the old neighborhood anymore and our reasons for visiting it are almost gone. In our eyes though, the old neighborhood is unchanged. A time capsule of our childhood. As adult men now, we still go back to the neighborhood and take The Walk. We walk down the middle of the street at night and we point to every house and talk about the memory of a childhood friend, or the time it caught fire, or what tragedy befell the old folks, who weren’t so old when we rang their doorbell and ran. For three of the four of us, the neighborhood doesn’t belong to us anymore. Our parents have passed away or divorced and sold our childhood homes. But still we walk. This year when one of our parents passed away, three of us returned to the neighborhood after calling hours and took The Walk. We still try to get together once a year. Again this year, we still drove to the old neighborhood, parked the car at the corner store and walked by our childhood, wondering where it went. Someday when the first of us passes away, I imagine the others will take The Walk, carrying our friend’s casket around the block, for one last walk.

5 responses to “One Last Golden Boys Story: The Walk

  1. Geez, that was a cute story, but then that last morbid comment! It does sound like a set in a movie or a short story. Was it as good as it sounds?

  2. Haha… Riot Kitty is right… it really was a cute story. The last comment seems a little out of place, though! Goodness, you're still pretty young aren't you?

    It's awfully nice that you guys have each other and all of those memories! 🙂

  3. My parents still live in the house they brought me to when I came home from the hostpial, a newborn. I still take the walk, too. When a neighbor dies or one of the old friends that comes home to parents there happens to cross my path we hike around Klickitat to Fremont, Sandy & back.

    I had my first kiss there, sat on the corner for so many nights I can't even fathom it.

    I'm so glad you have your friends to lean on and that friendship has survived for so long.

  4. I love this story! It is poetic and reminiscent of a past not really gone. It's good for the soul to embrace the good memories in our lives.

    Recently, a local TV anchorperson took is annual walk in his neighborhood. As he and his best friend walked and talked, he collapsed and died of a massive heart attack. As sad and awful as this sounds, the best friend said he could think of no better place for him to pass away. He died in his old neighborhood, surrounded by wonderful memories.

    Hold onto the memories, Phil.

  5. I loved this story too. I like the way your times together are both very funny but also deadly serious. Isn't that what life and friendship is all about?

Leave a Reply