I am thinking hard about you tonight and praying harder.
…The new kid in town, your family making me one of them, my best friend, Elm Street, the corner of Center and Laurel Streets, Slurpees at 711, the giant avocado Tree at Louden Nelson Park, dodgeball-swimming-billards at the Boy’s Club, dumpster diving the Catalyst, being poor but having everything we needed, Shadow “my” dog we found, Bayview Elementary and the Co-op, taking the school bus, drawing Madhouse Comix, performing in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, candy from Rexall Drugstore, pitching pennies, Christmas time, long Summer days, skateboarding, going Cowell’s beach, bikes with banana seats and riding tandem, getting change from Paperman Joe’s, the Funspot and flips on the trampoline, and arcade games like Galaga, Pac-man and Asteroids.
You are in almost every childhood memory I have, as far back as my forgetful mind can remember. I can still pick out moments and vividly recall specific days and times. I can smell the smells and flashback on all of the laughter.
Remember when I started smoking pot? You had no interest. We grew apart, but our paths would always continue to intersect.
You have always been warm and welcoming, never judgemental. I watched you grow up, just a little behind me. I blinked and all of a sudden you were a man- responsible, fit, honest and happy. I still acted like a child.
I envied you and wondered if I had taken a different path would my life look like your’s. You saw me at my worst and loved me despite myself. You watched me crawl back to the land of the living. You treated me as if no time had passed. Genuine is the best word I can think of in this moment to describe you as a person.
The last time we hung out I pruned the giant Date Palm at your rental. It was only months ago. We caught up, sharing stories of days passed and our hopes and dreams for the days ahead. I am so glad we had that day together. It reminded me that we will be friends forever, no matter what. Nothing has changed.
I pray you hear me. Know that I am sending you all of my love. I am here for you now like you have always been for me. Whatever I can do for you, your wife, your mother, and your sisters and brothers, consider it done.
I am planning on coming to see you tomorrow and tell you how much I love you in person.
I am proud and honored to call you my friend,