It is with total irony that I am writing about my dear friend Billy after writing about my professor who passed a few weeks ago. Billy is one of the greatest friends I have ever had in my life and his friendship came to me at an important time in our lives I guess.
Billy and I met working at the YMCA as lifeguards. Billy was kind of the interim aquatic supervisor our freshmen year of college. At the time, he was attending Miami Hamilton (I obviously was at UC) and we worked together all the time and even played volleyball together with the aquatic staff at Y on Wednesday nights. He was single that year and I was dating this loser pot head (because I thought it was the artsy thing to do...you know...date a pot head).
I can't really describe our friendship I guess. He was just there for me. He was the first guy outside my family to treat me with respect and it was just easy to be around him. He was with me when I decided to break up with the loser pot head because he told me I deserved better. He was there for me late at night at Mt. Echo while I drew a nightscape of the city of Cincinnati until 2 am for my Freshman Portfolio review. Hell...he got me drunk when I did not receive the grade I wanted on that review (it was pass/fail...and I passed but had a lot of negative remarks to go with it). I think importantly, he was there for me when I lost my Grandpa Ed. I had not really experienced death in my life with that much impact until that point because I had only lost my Grandma Edie at the age of 3 when I couldn't really comprehend it. We would spend nights that summer just talking in our parents basements, eating chicken wings, and drinking beer we were supposed to have as 19-20 year olds. My parents, sister, my aunt, and a few dance people who met him love him. I love his parents. I think his bride is wonderful.
The thing that sucks is that we have not SEEN each other face to face in 5 years. We chatted over IM. He transferred to NKU and joined a frat and I joined a sorority at UC. We had our own separate lives. I quit the Y just 3 months after he did and we went on our ways I guess. It was just all but too funny that I ran into him tonight when I was leaving the mall tonight. I was driving and he was walking to his car and we both just looked at each other and said "holy shit."
I left my car running and jumped out immediately to run up to an old friend. I probably could have tackled him with my hug. It has been so long that I have had tears of joy and this is all but perfect occasion. We talked about our lives and our significant others, jobs, school, and other such things. Our parents (whom Ryan and I live down the street from his parents no joke). Billy is like a brother to me. I love him in a different way than Ryan I guess I can't sometimes explain. When we were talking about Ryan, the first thing he said was, "does he treat you right?" Of course I answered "Of course." I then followed it up with, "I dated a bunch of jerks before him, but, I always knew good guys existed because I had a friend like you."
It is significant that I follow up my tribute to TC with writing about Billy because he helped me survive TC. I only hope it is not another 5 years before we catch up again (but, we both promised that wouldn't happen when we said good bye tonight).
This is was the biggest uplift I have had in weeks and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time.