That seems suitably frivolous for a Friday anyway.
Instead, today I think I’ll do a little ode. An essay of mine once appeared in a literary magazine dedicated to odes, which I always thought was kind of a cool idea. While the first definition of ode is “a poem written to be sung,” the modern use has it as a “lyric, rhymed or unrhymed, addressed to some person or thing and characterized by lofty feeling and elaborate form.”
Since this is about my friend, Kev, maybe that’s not what I mean at all.
Hee hee hee.
Today is Kev’s birthday and it’s made me reflective. We’ve know each other now since I was 15 and dropped as a bewildered sophomore into trigonometry class with a bunch of juniors. Kev helped me with problem sets and charmed me with his charisma and humor. I fell in love with his soaring tenor in our high school stage productions as much as his sweet brown eyes.
Oh yeah, I pined after him.
He flirted with me. Okay, he flirted with pretty much ALL the girls. But the other ones he dated. I crushed on him until spring of my junior year, when I finally broke down and left a love letter on the windshield of his car – a Baha VW Bug he’d dubbed the Baha Humbug – inviting him to the Sadie Hawkins dance.
What can I say? I’m a traditionalist.
Maybe I had a way with words even then, because he bit and we started a love affair that lasted two years. It was consuming and wonderful and perfect and everything first love should be. Between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I broke up with him. I still remember the pain of that, how I’d asked him to love me, then asked him to stop.
The thing is, we still love each other. That’s the best part.
I don’t regret my choice, because we’ve both found really wonderful life partners and our lives have moved in very different directions. And yet, after all this time, we’re still friends. We talk on Yahoo IM and know each other’s old jokes. We trade music and he keeps me up to date on the musical theater scene. There’s a deep-running affection between us. Sometimes I think his is more for the girl I was, but he also keeps a library shelf of everything I’ve ever published. He was among the first to encourage me to write, which was a gift beyond compare.
So, Happy Birthday Kevin! It will be interesting to see what the next 30 years brings.
P.S. If I forget who you are, will you remind me?