About a week ago, fellow blogger BosGuy posted about an article examining the rarity of gay/straight best friend relationships.
I never really thought about it being all that rare because my bestie is a straight guy.
Well, technically, after seven years together, The Attorney is now my best friend. He’s my confidant and who I hang out with the most.
But “J” and I have been friends since our teens. About 25 years.
He’s a different kind of best friend.
The kind I don’t put my pecker in.
We first met in 9th grade after I moved in with my grandparents and started at a new school. We were on opposite sides of a flag football game in gym class. He had trouble with the concept that the point of flag football is no contact, and charged right over my skinny body.
He helped me up and said, “You need to check where you are, boy.”
“J” is a tank and always has been. Not real tall and densely built. Thick neck. Thick calves. Strong as a bull. And strawberry blond hair on a square head.
If he were gay, he’d be a hit with the ginger bear lovers.
I don’t remember ever having the big gay discussion with him. But then I never really has a coming out moment with anyone. Not even myself. I just sort of evolved. He came along for the ride. And it’s never been an issue between us.
The way he saw it, it meant less competition for girls.
Once he found what he thought was “the one,” he made me best man for his wedding – a post for which I was selected even though the bride could not stand me.1
There is no doubt that if The Attorney and I were to ever be hitched, “J” is who I would choose to stand up for me. And I have no doubt that he’d accept without a thought.
Anytime one of us needs the other, we drop everything. Even in times when our respective partners get neglected.2
He has Granny-sat for me.
I have dog-sat for him.3
One day, after he saw Granny have trouble navigating the porch steps, he showed up the next with lumber and tools to build her a ramp.
He was the first person I called the morning after I met The Attorney.
I was the first person he called when he went to jail.4
It’s always been that way for us. We just have an easy give and take relationship. Together we are a steady stream of jokes and poking fun.
I can’t remember us ever having anything contentious between us. Even though he is, by nature, fairly aggressive and a bit of a hot head. Maybe because I’m pretty even-tempered, we balance each other out.
Unfortunately his hot head is what got him in trouble.
This past winter, he came home to find his wife literally in bed with another guy.
“J” went nuts. And frankly, I probably would have done the same. He beat the other guy pretty badly and was arrested on assault charges.
One could argue that it was provoked, but the court determined that because “J” was not personally in physical danger, he owed society three years.
I miss seeing “J”.
I miss him stopping in and sitting with Granny like she was his own.
She sort of is, given that he lived with us for a bit just after high-school. His folks just up and decided that since he graduated he had to get out from under their roof. Even though he had nowhere to go. He eats like a horse and Granny is taken by anyone who appreciates her cooking.
I miss him jokingly giving The Attorney grief about his “advanced” age by calling him “Grampa” at every opportunity.
Football season starts next week. The three of us won’t be watching any games together this year.5
But, we have 20-minute recorded phone calls 2-3 times a week.
He will most likely serve only about a year of his sentence before being paroled. So maybe he will be back in a few months.
I’ll be here.
And in the mean time Granny and I have a dog.