What I Really Want For My Birthday
Clearly you can see from this post, I know what I want for my birthday. What I didn’t mention in said post? Was what I want for my birthday that won’t cost anything. First off, I’d mentioned a week or so ago how much I’d love to have Skype dates with some of my favorite Twitter friends (Beth, Bea, TurnJacson & Jenn). That would be awesome! Turns out you can have a conference Skype too, with up to five people total! Even though I said my birthday was cancelled, I still think it would be awesome to plan a time for all of us to be able to chat face to face (kinda!). Anyway, there is one more thing that would trump all for my birthday, to hear from my old friend GJ.
GJ and I met my sophomore year in college. He transferred and moved in with some friends BDNF & I had made the year before. They were all dirty pot smoking hippies and he was an auxiliary state trooper. Not really a great fit. Oops! So we took him under our wing. His mom even called our RA & requested my number so she could chat with me about planning a birthday party for him (which I did. We had fun!) We got really close. He was from the town just north of me so often we would ride to and from school on the weekends. We became like brother & sister. Our relationship stayed close through many trials & tribulations (the biggest? 9/11/01. My world fell apart, and he helped me rebuild. And vowed to avenge the deaths from that day). Then he met the girl of his dreams. I haven’t seen him since. He’s married her and been deployed to Afghanistan. I worry every day that something will happen to him and I won’t know until I hear it on the news. I had lunch with a mutual friend recently and he updated me about a lot that’s going on. So I want to write him a letter. No one will give me a physical or email address so I’m putting it out here for you. And maybe, somehow, it will find its way to him. And maybe? Just maybe, I will hear from him again someday.
I miss you. Terribly. Like my heart physically hurts when I think about you. I worry what you’ve seen & what you’ve done. I’ve worried what terrible things you’ve encountered & how it will affect you years after you return home. I also worry I will never see you again.
I won’t forget when we met. How I automatically knew I was going to like you. How shy & quiet you were. How you enunciated when you would say, “How are you doing?” I won’t forget how much your family loved me. How BDNF & I spent a lot of time with them. How welcoming they were. How your mom would give me manicures & I’d let your little sis borrow my makeup. I loved our date nights when we both came home from college, when BDNF would work late or have a fire meeting we would go to Pizza Putt and eat $5 pizzas & play a round of mini golf. How I could always tell you anything.
I remember the girls. Your mom always begging me to set you up with one of my friends. But in my opinion? None of them were good enough for you. You were like a brother to me and I was very protective of your heart. But you found them on your own (or they found you). And they were never right. I kept telling you that you weren’t meant for a stupid busty blonde. And then? You believed me.
Shortly after Ginger & I started dating, I called you because I wanted you two to meet (I needed your approval after all!) You never did meet him (he was a nice guy, even if he did break my heart). You informed me you had also met someone. And that I had been right. You met a sweet girl who was educated & motivated. You gushed about her and I was so excited for the both of us! But then? You stopped returning my phone calls. I was forced to become a pseudo stalker (getting information about you from your family) and then you lied to me! You said you would be in touch after your 2 weeks for the National Guard and I NEVER heard from you again.
I later discovered that you were forbidden to speak to me by your new lady, who is now your wife. From what I’ve been told (and I understand my source isn’t 100% reliable) wifey doesn’t trust me. Wow – really?! How can someone that has NEVER MET ME, not trust me? I know that the time we spent together might seem strange to some people, but we were just friends, weren’t we?
Ok, maybe not. You were my family. My sanity. My crutch. My reality. You played so many roles in my life (and I hope I was able to do the same for you). When those towers fell, who was at my side? Who took me for a drive to calm me down? Who let me sleep in his room for a week* watching those images over & over again? Who confided in me how angry he was and how powerless he felt? You did. And who was there with signs and balloons and flags when you returned home from boot camp? Who is scared every time a news story comes on about another local soldier losing his life in this war? Who misses you more that words can ever properly express? ME!!!!!
I’ve been reminded that while your wife made our friendship impossible, you had as much of a need to stand up for it. But you didn’t. And that breaks my heart far more than not seeing you in 3 years. Don’t get me wrong, I would never ask you to sacrifice love for our friendship. But in love, why would it have to be a decision? I wish you could have met Ginger and I REALLY wish you knew FF. I know you would love him and be so grateful we found each other. And I wish I knew your wife, this woman who you gave me up for. I’d love for her to get to know me and never doubt that my feelings for you are platonic & familial – not romantic. I want to tell her the funny stories of you, me and our 3rd Musketeer and all of our adventures in Adams Hall (Assmasters!). I want to tell her how sweet you were to me when I was heartbroken about my divorce or when there was a criminal on the loose coming after my roommate. I want her to know that there is no reason not to trust me.
So, to wrap things up, I miss you. I love you. I will cherish our memories for the rest of my life. I don’t think I’ll breathe deep until I know you’re home safely.
* – Yes, I slept in his room. In his bed. And he slept on the couch like the perfect gentleman he always was.
And also, I would never send him THIS letter. He’s fighting for our country – the last thing he needs is my whining!