A is one-half of a set of my favorite twins. I might be making up this story, but I think there was a time when my brother and I "went out" with A and her sister, respectively. Further, I think my brother and I traded girlfriends for a day. Don't over think it. It was the 5th grade, or I'm imagining it altogether.
At any rate, I met A this morning for coffee. I asked her a number of rather personal question, and she kept responding openly. I appreciate that. Maybe she trusts me with that information, maybe she just doesn't care, or maybe she was still half-asleep and didn't think things through. Whatever the case, I value her willingness to speak with me about her life and her pipe dream. I hope she holds onto it and that it brings her the comfort that my pipe dreams bring me. And if she pursues it, I hope that I can be there to see it.
I didn't wake up thinking that I'd have a sweet Bret Michaels experience today. As I sat across the table from J, eating my bunless cheeseburger and bottomless broccoli, it still hadn't crossed my mind. Then it happened. J, who is terrible at segues, asked if I knew who Bret Michaels was. He then began to tell me that he owned Bret Michaels old car, a convoluted story that I wanted so badly to believe. Yet, if anybody would prank me using the Poison front man as bait, it would be J. I expressed my doubt, then he offered to prove it.
We drove to the hospital, pulled into the parking lot, and there it sat; a beautiful Ford Explorer Limited that at one time, was owned (but maybe not driven), by the "Rock of Love" star himself. We got in, turned on "Every Rose has its Thorn," and I experienced euphoria. J just kind of sat there and laughed awkwardly. I don't know if anybody else would've cared about a car that Ford had given to an aging rock star for doing some promotional work, but I thought it was awesome and quite a bit better than bottomless broccoli, which was also a pretty sweet deal. Like most of my days during this trip, today was a good day.
I ate ice cream with G-Pa today. He likes maple nut, so naturally, I bought some rocky road and showed up on his doorstep. We finished off that half-gallon while watching The People's Court and complaining about young people. There is some disagreement as to who did most of the eating, but that is not important.
Later, as I nursed my stomachache, I thought about his humor and his jokes ("Booooy, you're getting some grey hair." If you don't even understand how this is a joke, check out his pic above). He really gets a kick out of his jokes and stories. I don't enjoy them quite as much, though I always love laughing at him laughing at himself. Watching and listening to him as he cracks himself up is priceless, even if it is sometimes painful.
Before my first seizure that night, before I blacked out and hit the floor, before I couldn't remember who the POTUS was (that was a weird feeling, by the way), I remember talking to her about the heart-shaped pizzas that Papa Murphy's was selling.
As T and I strolled around the park yesterday, we threw bocce balls into somebody's back yard, avoided falling in the river, tried to understand the complexities of frisbee golf, and talked about that heart-shaped pizza. T insisted that I promised to get her a heart-shaped pizza that night and, despite having a violent physical episode, I still owe her that pizza. She is heartless, yes? I argue that, even if her recollection of the events was true, a contract was not formed and I owe her nothing. In other words, even if I did make her a promise, I received no benefit from the promise and she didn't rely on the promise to her detriment (I'm an unemployed almost-attorney, so yeah, that might be right). I conceded that, on a moral level, perhaps I should buy her the pizza. On the other hand, we both agreed that, since I had loose morals, the moral stance was not one that she could rely on to get her a pizza pie.
Oddly, the entire discussion I had with her probably didn't even matter. T doesn't even eat pizza, so there may have been no point to that argument or this writing. But there is a bigger picture thing going on here. The heart-shaped pizza story is a good one for me to remember and talk about. It reminds me of the time that I had some really freaky stuff going on and that there were people in my life that cared and helped me succeed. "Can't legally drive for six months because you had some seizures? No worries, I'll drive you around. Itchy back from your seizure medication? Here, use my fingernails. They are longer than yours." I'm not self-made. Most of my successes are directly attributable to the good people in my life. I don't want to forget that, so even if my sister is absolutely wrong about my duty to buy her a pizza, I'm glad that she brings it up from time to time.
I had dinner tonight with R, my first friend in tinytown. R is a perfect example of the good that can come from Facebook. Without Facebook, I doubt I would have ever seen R again. He grew up (so did I), we lost touch, we moved away. Absent Facebook, instead of having dinner with him, I'd simply think about him every once in a while on a slow Friday night and say, "I wonder what ever happened to R." It was great to see him. It was absolutely wonderful.
During our time together, R stated that he thinks my brother and I might have had a similar impact on him, that perhaps we planted a seed some 25 years ago that helped him become a better person long after my brother and I were out of his life. He doesn't know for sure and neither do I, but it's an interesting thought. If I knew today that my actions might affect somebody's life 10 years from today, would I act differently? Would I care more, treat them with more compassion, love, and sympathy? Would I be a better friend?
Maybe not. It's easier to think about it than to do it. But as I look back, I certainly wish that I had acted differently with R. We were friends and I treated him like the average kid treats a friend, but I know there was room for improvement. I wish there hadn't been.
When I met A in community college, she was a 16 year old that drove a Trans Am and kind of liked it. Tonight, she is a slightly older woman that drank cheap drinks out of a bucket, encouraged her boyfriend, P, to talk more about his theory on the correct way to clean a bum, and actually thanked me for giving her a can of Hamm's. It sounded sincere.
This is how it is when I'm around here. We rarely talk without irritating one another, but we have fun. That's why I like her. That's why she's my friend.