Tag Archives: friends

Just Re-Upped This Web Site Thing

Standard

I don’t know why I do this to myself.

Narcissism, I guess.

The poet Stephen Crane wrote, in his poem “A Man Said to the Universe:
A man said to the universe:
“Sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”

So here I am, in the dark, toiling alone at my keyboard, just as I have in years past. I’ve created poems of my own, along with short stories, essays and a small library of unfinished, unread (and probably pretty awful) novels.

I thought, when I started this, that it would be a group endeavor. My friends are all remarkable storytellers in their own right, and together we’ve shared (endured) some rather remarkable adventures. I even offered to lend my editing skill, so as no one should feel that they embarrassed themselves, but alas, it seems they’ve left me alone here in the distant reaches of cyberspace, speaking forever into the void my tales that none shall hear.

And to do this, I pay WordPress $18 a year. And it’s gone up a buck since last year (don’t think I didn’t notice, WordPress).

But, damnit, if I’m going to pay almost $20 for a domain, I’m going to use it. I’ll find something to post here, by golly. A man need not appease an editor to publish his thoughts and ideas, no, not here at the edge of the Internet! Though the universe need not care what I have to say, that’s no reason not to say something anyway.

So, my chums seem to have abandoned me? This isn’t the first time I’ve been left alone. At least I’m not passed out drunk in a campground bathroom outside Moab (looking at you, Scottsky). At least I’m not a bleached-blond ghost wandering senseless the streets of Long Beach (yeah, that’s right, Camo), or a singularly uninteresting chap who doesn’t drink but suffices to look cute and fall down a lot (Joey). What say you, BOB? FRU? Spouse of Joey? Spouse of, well, me?

No one? Not one of you other contributors has anything to say? No opinions? No stories to tell, observations to make, ideas to illuminate this dark sphere of digital perusal? No? Nothing?

Or is it a matter of time? Granted, not all can be the abundant purveyor of prose such as I. Writing well takes time – which is precisely why I don’t do it.

On little did Plato and Aristotle agree, but on this they saw eye to eye: we must take the time from our day to think. We must remove ourselves from distraction and “write history,” as Plato said. There must be an opportunity for contemplation, or we will never understand the things that happen to us. Your lives will be richer by far if you spent some time composing your thoughts, recalling your adventures, and marking them down. Over the course of evenings, you’ll be able to bring this experience to light, enriching this rusty old blog and the lives of those who might search it. So what if the No. 1 all-time search term that’s brought people to our site is “Burt Reynolds on a bear skin rug?” So be it! GIVE THE PEOPLE MORE BURT

Because it’s lonely here, keeping this silent watch, and the blog in the state of nature: inane, boorish and short.

Burt Reynolds on Bear Skin Rug

MOAR BURT!

Advertisements

True Friends

Standard

Many of us have good friends in life, but few of us are lucky enough to have TRUE friends in life. I’m referring to that type of friend who is there no matter what, supports you, lets you know when you are doing something stupid or is just a great shoulder to cry on (no matter how hairy that shoulder might be).

I have in fact been blessed with the truest friends/confidants a person could ask for. My friends would give the shirt off their back if I needed it, though if it came from Joey it would be some sort of free beer shirt I’m sure. My friends would even represent me in the court of law, i.e. Tony.

When you have the sort of friends I have, you have to come to expect the unexpected. There really isn’t too much that surprises me anymore with my pals. We have all seen more of each other’s bodies than one would really care for, seen more puking than takes place behind the scenes at a runway show and dealt with more “is this a felony?” situations than anyone I know.

That is why I love my friends/brothers: they keep life spontaneous, full of fun.
    
I recently received a random text late one night from one of my brothers, Joey. When I opened the text, it opened with the statement, “I almost pooped my pants!” Of course, my interest was aroused (and that wasn’t the only thing that was), so I asked “why?” and “how?” In typical Joey fashion, he proceeded to inform me that he had a lot of gas and had been farting all day. I, of course, expressed my pride in what he has told me, mostly because I have been there before once or twice … or maybe even three times.

Now, you have to understand the level of conversations I have had with Joey throughout our friendship; never a dull moment. He still always finds a way to surprise me. I questioned him on how badly he may have shat himself. The response I got was, “I didn’t quite fully crap my pants, but there was definitely some poo water.” Again, not at all what I was expecting to hear. I wasn’t disgusted by this at all, one of many reasons I question my sanity. In fact, the only thing I could think after hearing this is how much I love Joey. I felt lucky to have a friend like this, maybe it is because we can bond over crapping our pants, or simply we are comfortable enough with each other that we can share those sort of things while knowing how excited it will make our pal. Whatever it is, I knew this was the type of friend I want in my life.

Joey and I had taken a vow, for better or worse, when we became heterosexual life partners. Honestly, Joey’s worse only makes him better to me. Tony, Scott, Joey and I have all been through so much together and are closer for it. Many outsiders might view our friendship as queer (there are some pretty questionable photographs), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I need some one beat up or just a great intellectual conversation, Tony is my guy. If I want someone to listen to my problems and comfort me, or just need a great foot massage, Scott is my guy. If I need adventure or to just let my guard down and do something stupid, Joey is my guy.

If you have these type of people in your life, then cherish them. They will be with you until the end (and if they are like my friends, they may have something to do with the end.)

The Council of Kings

Standard
Friends 1

frumonster and Elliott on a particularly hard morning after a particularly long night.

I’ve always said, if I am to be judged by the company I keep, let it be known that I’ve kept the council of kings.

The author Raymond Chandler once wrote of the private investigators in his stories and novels that they had to be the best man for their world and a good enough man for any world. It’s not about always doing what’s right; it’s often a matter of having a good reason for doing the things you know are bad.

If I had to point to the greatest advantage I’ve had going for me, it’s been my friends. They’ve been closer than blood for all my formative years and beyond. Like Chandler’s protagonists, they can largely be relied on do the right thing most of the time, and do the wrong things just enough of the time to keep it interesting. As my fellow blogger here, S.M., phrased it, “They’re good people.”

For someone who comes from a family of dysfunction, like me, friends wield an incredible degree of influence. They’re the ones who help shape your morals, your character and your sense of self-awareness. It is with them that you learn the things of which you’re capable, and the things where you’re destined to be bested by someone else. They empower you by challenging you. The wicked pull you down, the good make you better.

Scott

thepittmite is in this picture. This was not, however, a picture of thepittmite.

Rare it is these days to keep the company of individuals with whom you can be utterly vulnerable. Whereas, not in society’s distant past, we found safety in numbers, now many of us can live long and healthy lives utterly alone, save for the few pleasantries that are necessary for the checkout clerk at the store and the lady running the drive-through window. We can isolate ourselves almost completely, and still no roving band of wolves will carry us off. It’s becoming more and more possible to live as an island, lessening the need to maintain strong and trustworthy ties to others.

But, if you know the right people, the maintenance of those ties are what makes life fun. Time without my friends is like time in the shade for a plant – I can survive, but I’ll never thrive without them.

I’ve been blessed to have intelligent, witty, shrewd and thoughtful friends since I was a boy barely growing his first mustache. From thepittmite and Elliott (also bloggers on this site), who shared a backyard border and bus route, and who were unaware for some time that they both knew me way back in middle school to the times spent with our feet propped upon the rear bumper of my Bonneville in Elliott’s driveway, a tub of QuikTrip soda and a pipe in hand and jazz in the air with our fearless comrade frumonster pontificating on all manner of things.

In college, thepittmite – a friend since sixth grade – frequently came to sit in my basement and talk until late into the night. He began bringing Joey. Then Joey began coming on his own. Then Joey began bringing Cameron. Then Cameron began coming on his own.

Friendships change and evolve – that’s the nature of the things – but the question is why they endure.

A testament to friendship and brotherhood is the capacity to spend two full weeks sharing the same space – a tent, a car and a small number of small motel rooms – in strange places, relying on one another for safety and survival and, over the course of those two weeks, to pull off a nationwide adventure with nary a spat or sore nerve.

A testament to friendship and brotherhood is completing not only one another’s sentences, but complete trains of thought, taking up character traits that others see as flaws but agreeing that they are, in truth, some of the things that are best in us – a capacity to drink copious quantities of hard liquor and consume pounds of tobacco, often in the course of a single sitting while still managing interesting things to say; or being prepared to pursue the most brutal and violent acts with a schoolgirl’s giddiness – so that your sense of self is counterbalanced by a funhouse mirror of a man.

S M

S.M., figurin' on some words and such.

A testament to friendship and brotherhood is the capacity to clash, put distance and time between encounters and still count one another among the closest and most trusted of companions, fretting for one another during down times and toasting one another when we’re back at the top again.

A testament to friendship and brotherhood is to form a bond, cemented by late nights and Check Cola, that endures nearly 20 years through lives that have, in some instances, taken vastly different courses to arrive at roughly the same points and still have the same inclination to support your old allies at a moment’s notice.

A testament to friendship and love is to be supported so strongly when you commit your life to the woman you love, to be endorsed and celebrated as you build a future and a family, with children who will grow calling your friends “uncle,” “aunt” and “godmother.”

And then, some many odd years later, you drop about $20 on a domain name and pick some random design and start a blog with your buddies, drawing sometimes a hundred or so hits a day and calling that a huge accomplishment, establishing a new forum to share the stories and sentiments as you did years ago in a dozen different forums, only now with a new venue and, perhaps, a larger audience.

My friends are my brothers. They are good people. I’m proud to have their backs, and I’m comforted to know that they have mine. Transgressions pass, but it looks like these bonds were built to last. I am proud to be in their number, and better for knowing them so well.

Cameron and Joey

Cameron and Joey, just being adorable.