Entry 9: More than a Friend
As a military child, I grew up moving across the nation and overseas. I was born in Texas and when I was around 2 years-old my family moved to Washington, then to Germany when I was 4 or 5, then back to Texas when I was around 8, and then we finally moved to Kentucky when I was 13. Moving all over the world can affect a kid while trying to grow up with friends that he/she can only see for a couple of years before they move to the next place the Army needs them.
As an introvert, I did ok with only one or two friends, and moving around almost phased me to knowing that I'll meet some new friends without worrying about forgetting old friends. When I was a young lad in Germany, my best friend was Christopher, and he introduced me to Crash Bandicoot and Twisted Metal on the Playstation. When we were about to move, he gave me a VHS movie called Christopher the Christmas Tree. It was about a Christmas tree that befriended a tiny owl named Hootey, and at one point they get separated (which is a fitting theme), but at the end they reunite in a different circumstance and they lived happily ever after. Knowing this as a kid I knew there was no such thing as "goodbye," but rather "until we meet again."
In Texas my brother and cousins kept me company, so I was content with having acquaintances at school rather than friends. In Kentucky it was basically the same when I moved there; I had a few friends but none that I clung to like Christopher. Being an introvert and reading the science of that personality type, I have learned that introverts do well with small company, and usually we tend to gravitate to one or two really good friends. Not so much of a social bug, I was ok without that really good friend in my life, but that changed when I finally met that person.
It was a lovely March and I was in Pre-Algebra in 8th grade. Some students usually transfer in or out throughout the year, so it wasn't unusual that a new student would sometimes transfer in the middle of a semester. One day a student transferred in that month and he was assigned to the same Pre-Algebra time-slot as me. Later that week we were learning about fractions and the number π (pi) by using real pies as practice! Appropriately we celebrated Pi Day on March 14th (pi = 3.14...), and I was assigned to partner with the new student to "practice" with pies. Needless to say, that day was the start of a beautiful friendship.
His name is Greg, and he is a great friend in a little package (he is short, and he was a good sport when we made fun of him for his height). For several years we had many misadventures of not-so-epic proportions. During high school we had this comic called Paper Wars that we invented one day in history class. Instead of passing notes to each other like giddy children, we drew adventures with ludicrous characters in nonsensical manners. Most of it was cheeky, immature humor that de no sense, but it fleshed out our odd sense of humor.
During our senior year we attempted to juggle not-doing-homework and social life by introducing girlfriends into our lives. My relationship lasted only a few months, but my best friend's relationship was really rocky. When Spring Break arrived the two of us travelled to Missouri with a couple of friends. The schools in Missouri had Spring Break the following month, so our visit to the mall was relatively quiet with no students roaming about. It was at that time that Greg's relationship fell apart and he was in a down mood.
In the mall he came across an ice-skating rink, and because practically no one was in the mall and it was 30 minutes until closing, he was allowed to skate for free. Greg was happy for that instance because he was literally able to cool down in the rink from the status of his relationship. I decided not to skate because I didn't know how to in the first place, but not joining him was one of the biggest regrets of my life. As a teen I didn't have a clear grasp on my emotions or whatnot, but I knew that he was now on the same boat as I was. If I could travel back in time, I would go back to that day and join him on the ice. I wouldn't care if I fell flat on my face (I would probably just stand in one spot), but just being alongside him in silence, just his company, would be a humbling moment.
Graduation came around and I was about to head college while he was going to join the military. Our last weekend together involved me spending the night at his house and playing truth or dare with his younger brother (if I wasn't clear before, we were pretty lame kids and we didn't care who knew). As my mother came to pick me up and we were about to depart for the last time, we exchanged one last good brotherly hug. Greg couldn't contain his tears and we wished each other the best of luck. A few minutes later he called me on the phone while I was in the van on our way home and he laughingly called me a jerk for not shedding a tear after I left.
It's been 5 years since I last saw him and we exchanged hugs, and I was never affected by goodbyes. Not even the goodbye at the end of Toy Story 3 struck a nerve, much less made me shed a tear. But before you criticize me for possibly being heartless, please understand that I believe all of us are destined to meet each other again someday, whether it be years or lifetimes away. Thanks to the internet and phones, I text and chat with my best friend constantly. To this day I still make fun of him for his shortness, even though he tried to compensate by being Army Strong.
Greg is my most best friend, and I gladly consider him as a member of my family (my parents concur as well). Today is March 14, also known as Pi Day, and we celebrate it as our 9th anniversary of meeting each other, eating pie.
Anyways, thanks for reading, and feel free to leave comments and feedback; they are greatly appreciated! Who is your best friend? How did you meet? Are you just as lame and awesome as me and Greg? Enjoy the day by eating pie, because I'll be enjoying it with my dearest friend and brother.