Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Happy Birthday, Adam.

I remember exactly the first time I laid eyes on the man I would marry. I remember the first time I saw the girl who would become the best girl friend I'd always dreamed of. But I can't tell you anything about the first time I met Adam*. My first memory of him takes place after we'd already met and become friendly, sometime during our first year at Cal Arts. It was dinnertime and we were sitting in "the caf" at a table in a little alcove that looked out over the balcony. There were probably five or six other kids at the table - it was our usual dinner group. I must've been eating stir fry that night because at one point I thought it would be funny to fling a spoon full of rice at Adam's face. Not that stir fry makes me want to fling rice, I'm just saying I had rice available and I thought it would be funny to fling it. That was right around the time that everyone thought it was funny for Amanda to call me "Bitch" instead of "Tricia", so I figured everyone would think it was funny if I threw food around. Turns out I was wrong. Adam was so mad he jumped up from the table and stormed off. He didn't even finish his cheeseburger and fries. I felt like a world-class jerk. I was afraid he'd never forgive me.

Ten years later he is the only person from that table I still talk to, and yet, I can't remember how we met. I can't remember how I got him to forgive me for that rice incident (though I can say that he absolutely HATES it when I tell that story - sorry Adam!) and I can't remember anything about how our friendship grew over that first year in college. But I know that by second year, we were inseparable. I remember long nights playing solitaire on his computer, sitting on his lap and laughing for hours. I remember karaoke at Mulligan's, the only place in town that didn't check ID's. Even back then, and still to this day, when he sings I go weak in the knees. I remember movie nights and deconstructing Shakespeare together and driving around Stevenson Ranch aimlessly. We did two shows together that year and we were in all the same classes. He gave me the worst haircut I've ever had in my life and then he called his boyfriend who came over and gave me the best haircut I've ever had in my life. He was one of the only people I could count on to steer clear of drugs, but he didn't judge me when I experimented. He showed me the beauty in real designer bags. He stood up as my best man when I married a gay boy and then he held me together when my heart was crushed into a million pieces (multiple times). He threw me one of the best birthday parties I've ever had. I've lost sleep over his broken hearts and tended his black eyes and cooked his dinner. He's treated me to cocktails and defended my honor and soaked up my tears with his sweater. When I married my soul-mate, he accepted this new man as his brother. When I was getting ready to move across the country he came over and cleaned my apartment just so we could spend a few extra hours together. We know how to push each other's buttons and we know how to admit it and apologize when we've hurt each other. He's the perfect friend for a wild night on the town or a cozy night on the couch. He is as loyal and protective as a mama bear. When we're together our bellies ache from all our laughter. He waits outside the bathroom for me when we're out and he doesn't answer his cell phone when we're spending time together. We worry over each other and confide in one another and adore each other. We are so alike that sometimes I would swear we share the same genes. When he moved to New York, I told him he was God's gift to me. He cried and said no one but his mother had ever called him a gift from God. But that is what he is.

I don't know why I can't remember meeting Adam. It seems almost as if one moment I did not know him, and the next moment he was so absolutely enmeshed in my life it was as if he'd always been there. As if all of my life before, there had been an Adam-shaped empty space and when we finally collided, we fit together so perfectly that there was no need for a recognition of a specific moment of meeting. We just joined hands and kept going, laughing all the way.

Adam, you are my brother. Happy Birthday, beloved.

*Adam is Archie from this story. When he read it he was all, "Why didn't you use my real name??" He's even as much of a narcissistic exhibitionist as I am. I love him.

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