Walter is a friend. And, one may call him a character.
When I reconnected with my childhood friend, David (the Artist, not the
Genius Mechanic), David told me he and his brother had a house, and were looking for a roommate. David’s older brother (and my future landlord) was Walter.
Walter was a night manager of a fast-food emporium, and a member of a local little theater group.
Talented, but quirky.
Thus began two years of college roommates, stealing each other’s food, beer and being generally goofy college-aged doofi (doofuses?)
Walter was (in)famous for sleeping anytime, anywhere. He’s been found asleep in the bathtub-it’s amazing he never drowned. Back in those times, one could remain seated in a movie theater, and watch the next showing, then the next. I remember Walter returning home, ticked-off he’d gone to the movies, only to fall asleep in the middle, and miss the remaining, subsequent showings. Sleeping. I think at the time he had apnea issues, but they’ve been resolved.
We were never super-close friends (I was closer with his brother Dave, who was my age) but I found one thing remarkable.
Walter had no guile. Most people have their moments. Walter, not so much.
I’d go for years, not having spoken to him, and we’d see each other at a friend’s party, and it was as if I’d seen him yesterday. And, he was always kind, generous and sometimes hysterically funny.
I think in Walter’s world, if you’re his friend, you’re his friend. Time, distance, politics, religion, petty disagreements all mean nothing to Walt.
When we were college roommates, I was pretty judgmental. It took me years to learn Walter’s message.
A couple years ago, when I was doing chemo, a mutual friend mentioned that fact to Walter. He made a point of reconnecting with me, and checking in on me. And still does.
And, I’d not seen or spoken with him in some time.
Subsequently, we continue to keep contact via email.
As I’ve written here before, I have great friends. Walter is one of them.