My Friend Chris

Meet Chris. A lot of his friends call him Army, but I always have and always will call him Chris.

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I've known him since he was about a foot shorter and had a not-as-manly sounding voice. In other words, since we were both about 13 and total dorks. He's been my friend for about 15 years, but he's been my bestie for nearly 10 of those, and in that time, he's been for me an immense source of laughter, inspiration, entertainment, support, and sheer awe. He's also easily in the Top 3 of the Top 10 Smartest People I Know (list still under construction). The latter half of our teenage years were spent playing hours-long marathons of Diablo II and Starcraft, having discussions on our various writing projects (we even attempted to write a novel together once, but I won't discuss that atrocity here), and spending even longer hours laughing about and quoting our favorite films, particularly The Big Lebowski.

Make no mistake about it, though. We're pushing 30, and we still do ALL of those things whenever we get to to see each other.

But of the multitude things I love about being friends with Chris, it has got to be without a doubt our ability to insult one another relentlessly. I don't know why we do this, exactly, but we've been engaging in this juvenile behavior since the beginning. We seem to particularly like portraying people with various personality disorders. It just comes naturally to us, and it exercises our need to be creative, I suppose. It's also just fucking funny. Especially when he does it, because he's a virtuoso at it. By the time I've broken from character and am laughing hysterically, he's still on a roll.

But I can't compete with Chris. I won't even try.

I could write a whole book on all of our exploits, but what I really want to focus this blog on is the birthday card he sent me this year. As soon as I read it, I felt like the luckiest friend on the planet. Here was the set-up:

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Now that right there was fucking funny! The perfect kind of card for someone like me, really. And then came the special birthday message:

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I know it's really hard to read, so I'll go ahead and transcribe it:

"Don't expect any special treatment because you were born on this day many moons ago. I mean, damn. The ego on you. It's like, "Ooh, how much attention can the world pay to me on my oh-so-special day?" It's not like you accomplished anything. Earn an achievement or something and then we'll talk about congratulations. Although this does remind me of a dream I had of you in which you were a colorful pinata and I was clubbing you open to snatch up your candy innards. That felt pretty great. So maybe that's my happy birthday to you. There. Are we even now? Or are you going to be one of those spilled-milk, it's-my-party cry babies? Frankly, I don't want to hear it. I've got enough on my mind, so I can't be here to babysit your feelings. You are just out of control, aren't you? Diva, what's next? Gonna show your "Britney" to the world and on TV and shave your head? Typical. Then you'll blame me, I imagine. Just remember that life is unfair and full of pain and agonizing memories that will chase you to your grave and haunt your mind to its wits end. And then you perish. Yep, you are perishable every bit as much as a piece of fruit. Tick-tock. Your shelf-life is expiring. Soon, it's fade to black. But don't lay awake fearing its arrival. Let it kidnap you in a moment of startling terror. That's what I recommend. That's my wisdom to share. Pass it on if you'd like. But don't wait too long. Time isn't on your side.

Now, maybe you'd have to know him and me, and how we are when we're together in order to truly understand why I was laughing aloud like a giddy mental patient while I was reading this. Perhaps it was enhanced by the fact that I had to turn it in circles in order to read it and it was making me dizzy.

Regardless, I freakin' love this guy. This was the best birthday present.