Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I'm just finishing up reading the 3-in-1 edition of the first trio of books in Ethan Mordden's "Buddies" series (I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Buddies, and Everybody Loves You - subsequently followed in the mid-'90s by Some Men Are Lookers, which I've just undertaken as well), and something significant smacked me upside the head today regarding said books - and, more to the point, regarding the narrator/author's relationship with his best friend, Dennis Savage. And that point is this: apart from the obvious fact of his not being gay, Stumpy is my Dennis Savage - and I think I'm his Bud/Ethan Mordden (only perhaps not as fine a writer, but I digress).

Theirs is a friendship of the best kind; it includes massive amounts of insults and bickering, but at its root, they understand each other like no one else does. And beneath all of the insulting is a Mississippi River's worth of love. I've been blessed by all of the friends life has brought my way (yes, I cribbed that from you, Michael), but none has ever truly known me the way my beloved Jeffy does. [For the record, I believe I started calling Jeff, Jeffy because I knew a number of other Jeffs at the time. I needed a way to differentiate him when talking with others. Of course, at this point, all of those other Jeffs have fallen by the wayside, and I'm left with my Jeffy.] We understand each other without even needing to speak - though we do, frequently and often. We can be completely stoopid, Beavis and Butt-Head-variety stoopid (and to this day still lapse into those voices at least once during every conversation we have), and then turn around and debate Ralph Nader's role in the 2000 presidential election. We met during that time when you generally make your most lasting friendships, at least at first: college. We were both Purdue dropouts who found ourselves close to home at Manchester College. We had mutual friends, we both loved college basketball with a burning passion, and were both music geeks (that's only gotten worse, FYI). We met 9 years ago this summer, and since have been largely inseparable. It's a cliché, yes, but he really is the brother I've never had. I'd give him a kidney without thinking twice. He's - well, not the yin to my yang, exactly, more like the Beavis to my Butt-Head, really. Our differing sexualities are utterly irrelevant, and in fact, accent our relationship at times (such as Jeffy's taking me to my then-favorite gay bar for my 25th birthday - I certainly don't know of many straight men who'd willfully make that a senior year of college Friday night). We give each other relationship advice. We've seen each other cry. With Jeffy, more than any other person I know, I have no defenses, and don't feel the need for them. He gets me. And you'd better fucking believe he'll be the best man at my wedding - once I am with someone I want to marry, and the Supreme Court legalizes it, that is.

Here's to you, StainMaster. You are, as a not-so-wise man once said, totally rocking.

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