One of my dearest and oldest friends just chimed in this morning after I had sent him messages on Viber and Facebook asking about how he was. He had appeared in one of my dreams (which, superstitious as I am, I take as a call or nudge of sorts from the universe), and I sent him the usual “How are you? Hope all is well.. dreamt about you” kind of e-mail. It took him a while to respond but I was relieved to hear things couldn’t be better.
He’s probably one of the few guy friends I have who have known me for decades and still know everything that is current about me. Well, almost. Our lives make it hard to catch up in real time, but when we do, we update one another as if we just spoke yesterday. He was also one of the few friends I saw during my last trip home in December 2013. He is not only one of my closest friends but has been designated my personal lawyer and executor. (Reminder to self: Finish that holographic will.) We never miss each other’s birthdays because we were born just 2 days apart — so when he greets me, I greet him. It has become a race of sorts as we try to beat each other to greeting the other one when our birthday month comes. So how can we forget?
He was there during the most painful time of my life where I didn’t know where else to turn. When I shunned seeing most of the other friends I would have run to, the one guy I called straight from New York was Jonathan. There are certain people who we know will catch us when we fall, no matter how long ago it was that we last spoke with them. They will always be there. Jonathan is one of those people in my life.
His counsel is one I value not just because the advice he gives is deeply thought out and deliberate, but because I know I will always hear it straight, coming from him. No matter how the truth may hurt, he will give it to me but with the gentleness and compassion of a brother at heart. I remember around the time I was hoping to settle down just over 15 years ago, I had gone out with him and our usual group of boys from college — half of who were already lawyers like him and me, and others equally successful in their chosen careers. I was seeing someone who seemed to be “the one” but was not quite nestled in my comfort zone the way I wanted him to be. Jonathan never met him, but when I told him about this one who made my eyes twinkle, he flat out told me this guy was no good for me in plain and simple terms. (The reason for which I will keep between Jonathan and I.) And that was that. It was like the truth was revealed and I took it as just that: the truth. As bull headed as I can be, the truth is not always something I take to hearing kindly, more so when it runs contrary to what I hold it to be.
But not from Jonathan.
Happy to hear that all is well with you, my friend. I have missed you but you are always in my heart. I hear your voice and laughter in the background when the memories come, more so when I feel alone and needing your counsel. There are so many things I want to tell you, and in time, I will. Very few people know the whole story and because you do, no explanations are necessary. You know because you know my heart.
So maybe we will get to do a joint birthday celebration next year, even if belatedly. And we can laugh and drink and catch up then..