What are some dark truths about adulthood that you witnessed as a child but only fully understood as an adult?

House plans with pool in middle

He was my best friend.


,Standing at attention on the left.

,My other good friend, also named Ryan, is in the middle.

And the big dumb blonde on the right is me.

,Every summer my family moved for my dadu2019s military career.

I would spend those summers at my grandparents, in Florida, to be out of the way while the chaos of moving unfolded.

,Summers at my grandparents rocked.

They were heaven on Earth for a young boy.

,Ryan lived just down the street.

A few blocks away.

He was also a clown, big on humor.

And could make me laugh anytime.

We explored together.

We got in trouble together.

,We were video game fanatics.

,Ryan and I played video games constantly.

I had Nintendo.

He had a Genesis.

We planned it that way.

When we werenu2019t exploring, swimming, riding bikes, we were sitting by each other in front of the TV with our controllers.

,Each summer, as soon as I came into town, Iu2019d pick up the phone and call him.

And daily hangouts would begin almost immediately.

,In the face of constant moves and goodbyes to friends, my summer rendezvous with Ryan was my stability of friendship.

I cited him the ultra important, honorary title of u201cMy Best Friendu201d when anyone asked.

,We sat in his living room on the floor in front of the TV on Saturday night sleepovers playing the original Mario, Sonic, Street Fighter, all manner of games.

,We played in the pool in his back yard.

I helped him do u201cpoop patrolu201d (one of his chores, cleaning up the dog poop on the back porch before we could play in the pool.

Weu2019d make poop jokes the whole time.

We were alllll boy.

),This went on from about age 5 to age 11.

My summers with him were the highlight of my year.

,One year, just before I flew to Florida for summer break, I got a call from Ryan, I only remember one line from the conversation, u201cWe are moving away.

My parents are getting divorced.

u201d,He said weu2019d still be able to hang out.

Yada yada yada.

I believed him.

I thought not much would change.

,But it was a fateful call.

,He would now live 45 minutes away.

There was no jumping on a bike to hang out.

No roaming the neighborhood on a whim.

It all became much more complicated.

,The golden days were gone.

Our friendship quickly drifted apart.

,,Here I am 25 years later.

,I am a happy, professionally employed, healthy adult man.

,But I am also a divorced man.

Who has gone through his own series of trials and tribulations with love.

,Now, when I look back, I can see it all:,Within my flipbook of memories at Ryanu2019s house, sitting in front of that TV.

, sleeping over, playing in his pool:,All the signs were there.

,His mom and dad never in the same room.

Never, not once, seeing them showing each other affection.

His dadu2019s grim, solitary demeanor as he smoked a pipe on the couch behind us, seeming to be angry about something.

,Going on walks with his mom, his dad, but never with both.

,The phone call where Ryan said heu2019d heard his parents fighting.

,In our own youthful innocence, weu2019d been playing amidst a crumbling marriage.

,All the bells and whistles were there, signs their family would soon split, and soon thereafter would begin the slow, peaceful, drifting death of our friendship.