In this life, one thing I hold extremely dear are my friends. As I get older I realize how important these people are in my life. I also realize how incredibly unique these people are to me. On any given day the compassion that goes out to them can range from comforting someone who has just lost their grandmother, to screeching the threat "I AM NOT AFRAID TO SLAP YOU ACROSS YOUR WHORE FACE".
Yes we sometimes get on that bipolar train ride of emotions that can quickly turn into a huge train wreck, but we always know that when all the shouting is over, you've still got someone in your corner.
I'm taking this opportunity to tell a few people in my life how much they mean to me. Yes it goes without saying, but it shouldn't. If you love someone, you should tell them. Yes I know that sounds sweet enough to contract diabetes just from reading it, so to be fair, for each person I acknowledge, I am also going to tell them something that I find extremely annoying about them. So we are all winners here!
We will start with my friend Pam. When Pam drinks, the volume goes up. WAY UP! Deaf people in China know that Pam is drunk. Pam really doesn't drink all that much, but when she does she is all in. A few months ago, we were doing two of my favorite things in the whole world; drinking and mocking people on Home and Garden network. (don't believe me that it's fun? have a couple of shots and turn on House Hunters) Anyway midway through the show, Pam looked over at me and yelled "I AM NOT LOSING THIS BUZZ". OK I thought, nobody is trying to steal it from you so just settle down. "REALLY, I FEEL GOOD, I AM NOT LOSING THIS BUZZ" so now I was just getting a little scared and thought it best to let her know there was a whole box of Franzia in the refrigerator,,,so no one has to die OK?
I am not saying it isn't fun, I am just saying Howler monkeys have a better indication of how to use their inside voices than a drunk Pam does.
Although Pam can be loud, she certainly knows how to listen. I don't think I have ever met anyone who does it better. I can rely on her to be my sounding board and even better than that she just takes it all in. She offers sound advice that comes straight from the heart. She never makes you feel sorry for yourself and you always end the conversation feeling better for having it. Everyone should have a Pam in their life. Sometimes all we need is for someone to hear us.
My friend Jenifer has an issue and that issue is animation. If there was such a thing as an animation intervention, I would sign her ass up for it faster than you can say Finding Nemo.
Don't even think of inviting her to a movie, unless it has "Disney Presents" in the title.
I did recently convince her to watch "The Color Purple". Everything was going fine until about halfway through she leaned over and asked "when do they turn into singing mermaids"? It's closer to the end I said.
The thing about Jen is that once she takes you in, you really have to be the one to screw it up. She will always be there. Through the good, the bad, the animated and the live action, she is a friend you know is for life.
We are talking about a woman who garnered over $2000 in groceries, money and gifts for a needy family, only to have them spit in her face. I would have taken that $2000 and paid someone to burn down what little they had left, but Jen took it in stride and continues to give.
Whether it is delivering meals to homeless or volunteering at her local animal shelter with gifts of food or to simply walk the dogs, she truly gives of herself.
The failings of humanity have never scarred her.
I give her the irrational and complicated from my own life and she unravels it for me, offers a solution and restores my faith in the human race.
I am here to say I absolutely love the sense of compassion and value she adds to my life.
Somewhere out there, some poor, some undervalued, some that have been thrown away by society have her to thank for restoring just a little bit of hope back into a hopeless world.
Barnicole is a girl who is 15 years younger than me. It's an odd pairing really. A gay man entering middle age and a mid twenties hippy chick. It somehow works, but not without it's frustrations.
Barnicole can best be described as a loose cannon of feelings. She expresses herself through art and a myriad of external behaviors.
We were once swimming at a party and someone mentioned the movie "Beauty and the Beast". This being one of Barnicoles favorite movies felt the need to express her joy for this Disney classic by performing the entire soundtrack at the top of her lungs while doing a form of aqua ballet in the swimming pool.
I stood in the corner of the pool and thought "Please God, make it stop". The singing went on and on. "Where is the off button?" I screamed.
She announces when she has to fart. ( I prefer to be left in the dark about this information)
She occasionally chooses a word at random and uses that word incessantly and to the point you want to beat the life out of her with a Thesaurus. Her word lately has been FANCY. "These crackers are fancy" "Hey there fancypants" "Oh you are using the fancy napkins?"
I can't take any more and scream "I FANCY SLAPPING YOU ACROSS YOUR WHORE FACE!"
As annoying as she can be with these small things, she is also an incredibly caring and talented person who has brought a lot of happiness to my troubled soul. Barnicole is the first person in the room to wrap her arms around you for a hug if she senses you are upset.
I see in her what I want to see more of in me. A strong, happy and courageous individual who doesn't just exist but actually lives her life.
Barnicoles art is especially intriguing. What she does is take negative and depressing headlines from the newspaper, puts it on canvas and paints over it with the beauty she sees in the world.
You can still see the headlines but they are all covered with what I believe to be the inner beauty she exudes. The finished product is beautiful and amazing, much like she is to me.
I love my friends, they make me not want to give up on this world. They make me not want to burn down needy peoples homes.