The End of Phase 2 Pt. 4: Friends, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Human Race (sort of).

May 1, 2015

Last November—during my annual Brovember movie month—I watched 21 Jump Street. I caught the movie in the past on FX, always allotted for time and always censored. I don’t remember much from the movie. It’s not that memorable. Although, it did raise a question I had never thought to ask before: How do adults become friends?

When I met my long-time friend, Meester Binx (obviously not his real name), it was on the playground during our years at Sam Houston. Now Binx will argue with me until he’s blue in the face about that we met in first grade. I know that we met in kindergarten. We were walking in opposing directions and crossed paths. I hopped to my right and he hopped to his left. I moved to my left and he moved to his right. “Cut it out,” one of us said. “Cut what out,” responded the other in classic Dave Coulier fashion. And of course the squeaky, broken voice of typical childhood bashfulness broke the routine we found ourselves in. “Do you wanna be my friend?” This is another thing Binx will argue. In his version of the story, I asked it. In the true version of the story, we both asked it because we were obviously destined to be hetero life mates a la Jay and Silent Bob.

In Junior High (now referred to as Middle School), things changed a bit. The dynamics were the same. Chance introductions led to brief or lifelong camaraderie. And high school dragged those Junior High friends through the mud and I met their girlfriends and reunited with old elementary chums. In summation, I have never been without friends.

Post high school/college, most of my acquaintances were made because of the dire need of having classroom friends in case I missed a day. Those are the ones who “throw away” after the semester is over. If you so happened to share another course together, well, it saved you the trouble of having to make another friend. The friends that I made in college—the real ones—came from being a part of Sigma Tau Delta. And even those are just people have become just faces on social network.

The digital age has altered the term friend viciously. I catch myself several times during conversations. My Internet friend. A friend from Tumblr. This Facebook friend. The word follows or is followed by an adjective, the name of a website where we commune. Some of these people I can say I love. I love Samantha. I love Ashton. I love Jason and all his bearded glory. I love Jenn. I love that bastard Eddie. These are people who I could talk to. Who I’d go out and grab a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me out drinking. I’ll only ruin your night. And I’ll probably steal your keys. And your cell phone. Because I love you and I want you safe.

My adult friends are comprised by friends I’ve known all my life. There’s Binx, of course. There’s Monica, and there’s Miranda. There’s Jeanna. There’s Esmer and Jerry, who I met because of Jeanna. Monica and Joe go way back to kindergarten where Miranda came about in high school.

Then there are the work friends. These are the weasels who snaked into my life while I wasn’t watching. I go into every job saying that I won’t make friends. Before I know it, there are new people in my life that I actually enjoy talking to. That I enjoy hanging out with. That I can be a complete idiot around. Who’ll laugh when I need them to laugh at me. Who’ll make a joke to cheer me up. Who’ll invite me to places or force me to attend parties against my will. These are the people I don’t mind talking to, confessing to, confiding in. These are people I’d go out and have a drink with if I drank. I don’t drink. Don’t invite me to go out drinking with you. I’ll only snap embarrassing pictures of you and broadcast them on Tumblr and Instagram and Facebook and my blog (which you’re reading).

Somewhere we stop asking the question. Maybe it’s understood. We don’t need to mimic Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street and sheepishly ask the guy we bullied in high school if he wants to be our friend. We just know. And I love that.

“A glittering star on a sea of myriad waves”

May 23, 2013


I don’t believe in a higher power. No god rules my decisions, good or bad. I don’t pray for others that are in need; I help them if I can. I don’t give praise to some imaginary friend for giving me another day on this earth. Don’t believe in astrological signs or psychics or homeopathy or runes or an afterlife or destiny or fate or anything predestined or written in the stars. No one’s ever read my cards, and the Bible is as factual to me as The Iliad or Metamorphosis or the latest John Grisham novel. And yet, somehow, whenever I make the above statement, it’s always responded with sheer shock. As if believing in nothing but the natural world is much more mind blowing than believing in some invisible guy in the sky.

I’m not an Atheist, let’s make that clear. I still wander the realms of agnosticism. And while I’m open to the concept of some alien being that created us, I’m 99.9% positive that god exists because humans exist, not the other way around. Most people see the .1% as a weakness, a crack in my facade. Believers see it as insurance. It’s something to pick at, chisel and hope that I make the leap either way. Just choose a side, like with bisexuals.

Exhibit A: I'm a sinner but that's okay cos god is greater than that.

Exhibit A: I’m a sinner but that’s okay cos god is greater than that.

Not a day goes by that I’m not bombarded with a pro-religion “meme” on Facebook. Not a day goes by that I read about how god has given us another day, as if some all-loving creator would just pull the plug for shits and giggles. And not a day goes by that I don’t read how they feel persecuted for their beliefs. This stems from something Jesus may have said (or it may have just been fabricated to explain the historical persecution of Christians). Women’s rights are seen as a persecution. Marriage equality is seen as persecution. Hell, gay acceptance has been in the spotlight recently.

Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges

Exhibit B: Comparing Apples to Oranges

When Jason Collins came out of the closet, the people accepted him. Well, for the most part. Because shortly after all the praising of his courage to come out of the closet as a professional athlete (who also happened to be African American), the backlash hit. Suddenly the religious right were up in arms, bitching how the media made a darling out of a sodomite but snubbed such an outstanding Christian like Tim Tebow. Keep it to yourself, Tebow, indeed. Because being a white, Christian male in the United States is so rare. Not as if it’s a dime a dozen or anything. Where as coming out as homosexual in the black community? A community that’s already a minority? It’s minority-ception, something Tebow will never understand, as Christians were never banned from marrying each other or enslaved by the African Homosexuals bigots.

Exhibit C: Wouldn't the Joker be a gift from god, as well?

Exhibit C: Wouldn’t the Joker be a gift from god, as well?

And that’s the problem I’m having here. This thought process I’m having. I have yet opened a newspaper to read an article about some poor kid pressured into suicide for believing in a god. Or the Supreme Court having a hearing on Christian Marriage rights. Or how Catholics are forced into abortion. Or how the first Thursday in May is National Science Experimenting day, where a rally is being held. No. What I read is the science that could’ve been but isn’t because Christians pale at the thought of stem cells being used as research. Or Christians with signs stating that god made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. And Facebook is just wallpapered with pointless, would-be deep memes about how god gives you the things like that boyfriend you always wanted, but no one ever bats an eye when said boyfriend beats you. I suppose, god works in mysterious ways.

We have these books in the department, a nonfiction series entitled You Wouldn’t Want to. The titles vary from being sick or living during a certain points in history. I can’t help but to think that, somewhere along the line, the company will publish one called You Wouldn’t Want to be a Homosexual in 21st Century …

Continue reading

Let me tell you something about my mother. She has intuition. She successfully predicted the sex of all three of her kids – all boys. She successfully predicted the sex of all six of her grandchildren – we’re still on the fence whether she really predicted the first. So when I announced that Jyg was pregnant …

Continue reading

Charles Simic wrote about the absurdities of society in The World Doesn’t End. I wonder what he would think about the world now. When one of the greatest powers in human history has decided that pizza is now a vegetable. In which we help the rich and tax the poor. In which we ship our …

Continue reading