I was driving home yesterday evening after an enjoyable stint at a bar near Central that has become one of my favorite watering holes in all of Boston. It had been a good time with good people and I was smiling as I climbed into my car. But somewhere before the turn onto 95, the realization that I had been forced for weeks to keep any and all emotion at bay washed over me (pardon the horrible maritime theme of that sentence). And while nothing was wrong or Off, I let myself sink into my seat for a few minutes and not have to be really On.

A few moment of melancholy passed. Completely natural.

And then my phone beeped with a text message.

“Hey, so I was wandering around downtown, pondering some tunes recently downloaded and it hit me. I miss you. :)”

Johnoghue is a friend from college who has consistently served as one of the all-around nicest people I’ve ever known. My He’s the guy who volunteered to team up with my father to lug my huge couches down three flights of stairs from one apartment and into the next, who called me at midnight to tell me that I’d probably want to know that a huge intersection in the town I’d covered at my old newspaper was covered in soap bubles, and the fellow with whom I would meet up for tea and catchup conversation, during which I would scribble a new list of musical recommendations into his ever-present Moleskin notebook.

He has a knack – unbeknownst to him – for always checking in just when I’m in need of a random reminder that someone is thinking of me. It felt good to know that I was missed – and that he knew to follow that up with a smile instead of a frown.

And then a musical recommendation.

I strongly believe that everyone should have a Johnoghue. I’m glad that I have mine.