Monday, May 07, 2007

The 6:00 am Gang at Panera

Nearly every weekday morning around 6:00 am a group of 4 of us meet at the local Panera Bread for a little comradery and good ole fashion "Male Bonding".

The group consists of moi, a psycho shawarma lover and bonsai nut, Earl, our resident small engine maestro, Ed, the law enforcement agent and pistol packin' locksmith and last but not least "The Colonel". Patriot, man of God and all around good guy.

We all hang around swill some coffee or soda, perhaps dine on a pastry or two and shoot the bull for a couple of hours. Everyday without fail, we solve the problems plaguing the universe, gossip, bust each other chops, talk politics and shop and then leave Panera feeling like we could take on the world. The following morning the same scene repeats itself and duplicates itself day after day after day until the weekend rolls around. Come Monday morning we then we start the whole process over.

I wouldn't trade these weekday Panera Bread bull sessions for anything. They are great and I am happy to say are they are highlight of my day. Nothing beats the company of good friends. Nothing. Even though rising from my warm bed at 5:00 AM to meetup with everyone at 6:00 AM when the doors open can be a pain in the ass at times, I do it and soon the wiriness of being slightly groggy lifts from my eyes as the caffeine from my Dr. Pepper works its way into my bloodstream. Well it was Dr. Pepper until Panera dumped it for some fizzy Ice Tea. Now I slowly slurp Mountain Dew since I can't stand Pepsi. Why a high end eatery like Panera serves Pepsi is beyond me but that is another story for another time I suppose!

We all come from vastly different backgrounds and our politics are different as well. Despite this there is a bond between us. A certain magic that you can't create. It just happens. You can't force friendship. Friendship happens or it doesn't with people. Yet the four of us have a unique bond that is something no one can take from us.

The story of how this "foursome" started isn't steeped in grandeur and lore. It was rather spontaneous in a sense, yet at the same time slow to develop. A contradiction I know, but that is the only way to explain it. It all started when Me and "The Colonel" began meeting every Thursday morning at 7:00 am at Panera for coffee a couple of years ago. A simple once a week thing between friends. After a couple of years, Ed and Earl started showing up and sitting at another part of Panera. I didn't know Ed and only slightly knew Earl. The Colonel was friends with Ed and soon we started to join each other. This soon turned from a once a week gathering to everyday. That pretty much sums it up. Nothing flashy or "Hollywood" about it.

The bond between us was almost instantaneous I think. 4 guys from different, lifestyles, backgrounds and ages connecting in a positive way. I love these guys and would do anything for anyone of them and I think they would do the same for me. At its very core this is a friendship and friendship is one of the most important things we have in life. The Greek Philosopher EPICURUS (341-270 BC) summed it up pretty well when he said. ""It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confident knowledge that they will help us."

You can't create something like this. It just happens. But you can open yourself up for it. Don't' be afraid to meet new people. Ask a neighbor over for out for a cup of coffee or lunch. Explore other people and keep an open mind. You don't have to agree with them 100%. Life would be pretty boring if we used this as our sole determination for friendship. Be open and honest and you just might find yourself some new friends. See you in the morning guys!


Blogger tooners said...

i don't open myself up to friendship much any more. i have met, i guess over the last year, some really nice women that i never imagined possible. they're all married to bahrainis and have similar situations to deal w/ and such, like me, so that is nice. and we like to sit and gossip and complain about a lot of the same stuff, which is nice.

w/ all of this said, i will say this, i find it difficult to make friends w/ bahrainis. i met the first girl at a part this past christmas and found her to be delightful and wish i had gotten her number. i've also met some others on the net and thru blogging but have yet to meet anyone in person that i've had a connection with... maybe one day.

good blog here.

May 07, 2007 11:14 AM  
Blogger Cerebralwaste said...

It will happen Tooners. It will happen. You can't force it. Friendships can sometimes happen in an INSTANT or sometimes they develope over time.

You will always have a friend on this blog Tooners. You can count on that!

May 08, 2007 6:51 AM  

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