Adventures in adulthood

It’s such fun being friends with a legend.

My pal’s not a rockstar, footballer or A-list celeb. He’s not a soap star, an Oscar winner, a prince or a pin-up. He’s not even a household name. But my mate’s got legendary status in our wee corner of Glasgow, everyone knows who he is. What’s more, this ain’t some vainglorious geezer, just a great guy with a gift for the craic, a kind word for all, and an awful big heart. He’s one of the coolest of cool, with a certain style all of his own.

We’ve kicked around for ever so long, me and my bud. Frightening really, but it’s 40 odd years since we first shot the shit at secondary school. Decades on, and he’s still one of my good guys. In fact, I look forward to his company for the remains of our days. Yes, there’s a nostalgia trip to be had here, and it’s easy to gloss over bad times, but we agree, we had it good. The 70s and 80s sometimes get a bit of a pasting but those were our heydays and highdays, and bloody hell, it was great to be young at a time of huge change. Even better was having a gang of great mates to share the spills, thrills and cider.

Of course, my pal and I still shoot that shit, and in between fits of hysterics, sometimes we even sound really rather grown up. And so we should, between us we’ve already clocked up 106 years. And there was me thinking nothing had changed. Despite all physical evidence to the contrary, in my eyes, my mate’s still the same teenage goofball I first knocked about with – he’s still got that mad mental giggle and a penchant for pie, beans and tea. He’s a deep thinker too tho’, and I’ve always admired his capacity to surprise.

This week, he was at it again. There we were sat, in the pale winter sunshine, enjoying a cuppa in his preferred prime position at the non-swank end of the Byres Road, when he took the wind out of my rose-tinted sails by proclaiming that he’s now an adult. Cue hysteria at my side of the formica table – no way! You’re never gonnae be a grown up! But my laughter soon subsided to become a “holy shit” moment. God yeah, actually we are proper adults.

Still can’t quite believe it, but. See, we were part of a small group of free spirits back in the day. We weren’t feral, but we were lucky enough to have a level of freedom not seen since those heady times. We had time, space and a certain lack of supervision which is probably one of the reasons we’ve got such a solid bond. But our extended youth has come at a cost. Some of our number have paid a high price for shedloads of shenanigans, and almost all of us dodged adulthood in favour of self-centred pursuits.

It’s all over now tho’. If my mate’s a self-declared adult, then it must be official. It’s painful, but true. Between us we’re dealing with mortgages, mental health, menopause, marriage, management, small business, offspring and ageing parents. Our joints are aching, our nerves are shot, money’s too tight to mention, and we almost certainly aren’t getting nearly enough shut-eye.

But we’ve still got each other for good times and bad. And all things being equal, I reckon we’ll never, ever stop shooting the shit.