Now John at the bar is a friend of mine

There was this kid I grew up from middle school with who was whip crack smart. He was popular and a jock and nothing but trouble. The mouth on this kid both annoyed me and fascinated me. I didn’t know how he could pull quotes and references outta nowhere on the fly.

Meanwhile, I could be icy and bitchy in self-defense, but rarely funny. And when he joked, I refused to laugh…on principle.

He made fun of me a lot. I secretly relished it as I tried not to fume. I’d try my hand at snappy comebacks. They always fell flat.

And then later, much later, we would become friends. The kind you enjoy road trips with. The kind you get high with and talk music with. The kind you go see movies with on opening night and concerts whenever they came near. The kind you watch Game of Thrones with. The kind you talk about relationships with. The kind you fall into bed with and get confused about later, when you’re alone.

Some-a-youse know who it is. I can’t say it was my finest hour. But it wasn’t 38-year old me. It was 14-year old me who watched from the wings as he shone and coveted what he had so very much.

Somewhere between 14 and 38 I’d grown up. But he hadn’t. He’d peaked young. Somewhere between 14 and 38, I’d become funny and quick and full of references. Quicker, at least. And able to give as good as get. His luster had worn off and his seams had loosened, revealing the fluff he was stuffed with.

Now I love these boys. Boys in general, but the boys I know in particular. And they are indeed children. The ones who know all the bits. The ones with the movie quotes. The ones with the impressions. They make me laugh. I fall in love with them. I don’t want to sleep with any of them. No, that’s not the vibe. I’ve already inoculated myself against that strain of cute.

But I sure do find their company pleasing. Witty boys have a certain twinkle in their eye. The funny is just an indicator of the brilliance inside. God love ‘em.

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