I don't know what to write. I have no clue. I asked Geoffrey what I should write about and he said, "bananas."
We were talking in the kitchen. I was whining about the awful ride I had today and he was telling me about his super hard run. We've both been suffering in our own ways. So sometimes we just have a whine-fest and we.... feel better? It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who struggles.
I was in my underwear. I had sneaked down to steal a diet soda. He doesn't care. But I always feel like I'm sneaking. I'm the Russian uncle in the attic who occasionally stumbles out in the dark, unshaven beard bushy, underwear torn nearly to the point of indecency. When someone witnesses my wooly-chinned criminality, I stop with a deer-in-headlights look.
His back was turned to me. I debated heading back upstairs. Then I realized what a ludicrous impulse that was. So I just said, "hey stud." That may sound like an awkward way to start a conversation between two nearly naked men. But I guess it's our thing. I don't remember what he was doing. He was in front of the cutting board. But anytime I see Geoffrey, my eyes are invariably drawn to his massive calves, and I just zone out.
OK, that last paragraph made it sound extra awkward. I'm pretty sure this is how every bit of erotica starts. "Then he turned around and our eyes locked and there was this moment...."
|Avoid eye contact, avoid eye contact, avoid eye contact....|
Nothing happened. I'm sorry to disappoint you. Actually, far more likely you're relieved. I eventually took the diet soda from the fridge. My stomach's been bothering me, which is part of the reason the bike ride was awful. I ate way too much fiber this past week. Last night I ate an absurd amount of almonds. That was a bad idea. I can't eat any more food, even though my body definitely needs it. Also, the only food I have available is.... almonds.
So I grabbed a soda.
I'm drinking it now, listening to Amanda Palmer. Fun fact, I like "angry chick music". I put that in quotes, because that's what I've heard somewhere. I just think it's good music. I like Ani DiFranco too. I used to listen to a lot of Alanis Morissete, Hole, No Doubt, and so on. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they don't give a sh*t and sing what they want. I used to listen to the Police. Then one day I actually looked at the lyrics and realized they're creepy as f*ck, so I stopped listening to them.
I've been living in Geoffrey's house for ... 21 months I think. I didn't think I'd be here that long, but it's worked out. We've had our ups and down. But we're both deeply introspective, and when we get to talking, just everything comes out. It's hard to be mad at someone when you understand the utter depths of their personal demons. The reasons why they do whatever they do that they're not happy about.
That's why he's one of my best friends. People aren't honest with each other these days. Not even couples. With this generation of rampant social media, everything we put out to the world is a facade. Two women I've known have committed suicide.
When I knew them, they seemed full of life. I had no clue. And what happened wasn't my fault. But I still felt a massive amount of guilt. I think that's how a lot of people react. They should have known. They should have done something.
There was one person, and exactly one person I could cry with. Other than the Lion King, nothing ever makes me cry. But when I told Geoffrey about how I felt, I did. He knew one of the women, and her death hit him just as hard. We men, we tend to swallow that sort of thing down, hold it inside ourselves. With Geoffrey I don't have to.
I've known him for over ten years. I don't know exactly. I looked back through my Facebook pics and this is the earliest pic I have of him from November 2007 (almost ten years ago).
Not exactly flattering, but I have some much worse pics of him, so be glad I'm not sharing those!
Many times friends - even best friends - drift apart. Their lives change and they can't relate to one another anymore. But my life and Geoffrey's life (since I've known him) have followed almost the same trajectory. That's super rare, by the way.
When I met him, we were both drunken party animals. He would play music at dingy house parties and I would feed him 40's of OE. By the end of the night he could barely stand. Our peals of laughter would reverberate off the walls. We didn't give a f*ck what other people thought. We had obscene amounts of fun.
We both had stupid dating lives. Because we were both damaged. At one point I even judged him for his choices, but really I was judging myself, and I feel embarrassed that I didn't recognize that at the time and took it out on him. But even then we were honest with each other, and over many beers and glasses of whisky, we would spill out all of our hurts and weaknesses.
We both made massive mistakes. We've both paid the price for those mistakes in different ways, and still do sometimes. I'm a better liar than he is, so people generally only perceive my flamboyant exterior. But he knows, he knows all my sh*t. Sometimes he smacks me in the face with my hypocrisy, and I'm deeply appreciative of that.
I got him into Running. He got me into Triathlons. We both quit drinking on the same day. These are changes that many many people try to make and almost always fail. Against all odds, we changed not only at the same time, but we both stuck with it. We both pursued a direction of growth and positivity at the same time.
|Here's a more flattering pic I took|
in October 2009
I don't think that's a coincidence.
I've hurt a lot of people, and have been hurt in return. So has he. I moved out of my ex's place in a rush, and he was amazing enough to let me live here. Since then I've stopped dating, using my training as an excuse. He's in a strong and healthy relationship with an amazing woman, Meghan. So I think he's farther ahead on the whole growth and self-forgiveness thing. Apparently I'm not ready to forgive myself yet, despite all the pretty words I write in this blog ("self absolving blog posts" as Geoffrey called them once).
Thank God for his honesty and directness, and his willingness to share the depths of his soul and allow me to share mine in return. And we inspire and motivate one another to push ourselves harder. I wouldn't have signed up for an Ironman if it wasn't for him and Meghan. Many people inspire me - and I them in return - but it's different when you share a space together. I'll come home from work and see that his bicycle is gone. Any thoughts I had of taking an evening off vanish in that moment.
This is what happens when I write a stream-of-consciousness post. I hope Geoffrey isn't too embarrassed by it. It's been a long time and we've shared a lot of stuff together, some of it very good and some of it very bad. I hope we continue to do so for a long time. The good stuff is that much better when you can share it with someone, and the bad stuff is easier to handle when you don't have to bottle it up.
Here's to you Geoffrey. Thank-you.