Who is your partner in crime? Or, perhaps, are you a lone ranger?
I'd like to think that I am a lone wolf, out on the plain, struggling to get by all on my own, but that's not true at all. I have a very small group of people that are part of my life whether I like it or not. Whether they like it or not. What I just realized is that in one way or another, I am related to these people. But it's more than that.
He is always there for me. He is good at putting a positive spin on my sour moods and he's good at showing me that none of us are without hope. He can show me the light at the end of the tunnel when I'm in the dark. And just a simple "What up??" text shows me he's been thinking about me even when he's crazy busy with work and pastoral studies and girl friend and life in general. And although it may not seem like much, knowing that someone else is thinking about you and how you're doing is a big deal, am I right?
But at the same time my brother and I butt heads all the time. We have what my mom calls Heated Discussions. Nothing is off limits: Religion, War, Politics, Television, Current Events, Family, Holidays, even the pros and cons of cooked fruit. A nice discussion with valid points and new points of view is always welcome. Sometimes it seems we never end an argument. It goes on or fades away or resumes at a later date. But just because the argument is on-going does not mean that we're mad at each other or not talking to each other. Far from it. If a discussion gets too heated, one of us will quote a line from How I Met Your Mother or The West Wing or Big Bang Theory and everything goes back to normal. I'm not sure how my 2011 would have shaped up if it wasn't for Tim.
My Best Mate.
I'm pretty sure he needed me just as much if not more than I needed him this year. We had some major ups and downs this year. We yelled and screamed. We drank. We gave the silent treatment. We laughed. We drank. We cried. We hugged. We drank. We conspired together. We gave each other advice. And most importantly, we drank. It may seem like a negative trait, but I know any time I just need to unwind and tip a couple few cold beers back, I can go to my best mate. We turn on some loud, riff-tastic music. We light some wood in the fire pit. We crack open a beer, and we clink. Cheers, mate. That's all it takes.
We've known each other since we were born (he's six months older than me). We used to spend long weekends at Grandma and Grandpa's house on the ridge. We would go wandering around looking for arrows and flints. When we got older we would sneak back there to share a stolen cigarette. Years later we still get together, but now we're grown (which is scary). We don't need to sneak around any more. And we have some deep conversations. We can talk about just about anything at long length. I'm not sure either Jay or I would have survived 2011 if it wasn't for each other.
I know I don't talk about her much. That's probably because I take advantage of her. I treat her bad and think nothing of it. But she deals with all of my crap and all of my moodiness on a regular basis. And on the most part, she takes it all in stride. Oh, don't get me wrong: She doesn't just take it. She yells and screams at me when I deserve it. She slams the door in my face when I've earned it. She shuts me out when she's had enough. But we've both had a rough go of it this year. Work and family and money have caused all kinds of migraines and bitter moods this year. But as a team we've been trying to make moves this year.
But she's never left. I swear to God I have no idea why she's still around. I am a jagoff most of the time. I'm whiny. I'm moody. I'm depressed. I drink too much. I tweet too much. I spend too much money. I know I've changed a lot since we started dating. We used to go out for coffee all the time just to sit and talk, and now I don't like to do that. Partly because my feelings are still hurt from losing my job at Caffe Aroma. The other reason I don't enjoy going for coffee is because I know for a fact I can do it better than any coffeehouse in Western New York. And it pisses me off. I spend too much time in dirty, hole-in-the-wall bars. I never used to do that. And I know she hates that. One of these days I'm going to come home and there's just going to be a pile of clothes and CDs and books in the center of an empty room. And I won't be surprised. But I have no idea what my 2011 would have looked like if it wasn't for Chantale.
Would I have survived 2011 if it wasn't for these three people? I really doubt it. If I didn't have these three people in my life I'd be on the street, without money, without a cell phone, without a job, and very very thirsty for an ice cold beer.