Three hours past midnight, the lights finally went out.

Eleven six packs, seven bottles of wine, a fifth of vodka, eighty bucks of crudites, and a river of yellow wax down my spiral staircase later, summer was gone, and another year was celebrated.

If a man’s worth is measured in his friendships, then I am awash in wealth. I am rich from the laughter, the wisdom, and the love of Jeff and Kristan, Chris, Jen and Ethan, Angela, Smita, Rich, Justin and Bonnie, Jonathan, Rachel, Ron, Nick, Jen, Ron and Jodi, Anne, Heather, Wes, Casey and Langhorne, Jeff, Brian and Maria, Wynn, Nate, Joe, John, Jeremy, Abbi, and — from way up in Toronto — Vanessa.

It all happened in the wake of Saturday morning’s eighteen mile NYC Marathon training run. I trailed Abbi, Chris, and Jen, the entire way. Somewhere in the seventeenth mile, as I trudged slowly past a guy who was walking, I said, “C’mon, brutha’. We’re almost home.” He started running again, and thanked me. I got goosebumps, and sped on through to the finish.

And that’s it, really, in a nutshell, isn’t it? We might be tired, weak, or down, and a friend says, “You can do it.” And you do. Because you can. You just needed to be reminded.

And in the morning, you’re sore, and you’re tired, and maybe just a bit disoriented. But you did it. You made it. You’re home. And you made it there with the help of your friends.

And so it is.

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