I hate people that say men and women can’t be friends. Those people are most likely sexist and idiots. The story of the daughter of the famous golfer is a complicated one. So complicated in fact that she’s not the daughter of a famous golfer. Maybe the story isn’t complicated at all, I’m just making it a convoluted mess because that’s what I’m apt to do. I do find it a bit strange that meeting people from the interwebs is so normal in this fine year of 2016 and maybe I say that because I did the same thing about 10 years ago with a random guy from a video game forum and then labeled him my fake cousin. Which I only bring up because I think there were quite a few TV shows and movies directly about how that was the worst possible thing a person could do and at best you’d at the very least get abducted. To be fair, I can think of no actual movies or tv shows that were about meeting strangers on the internet but I’m pretty sure it was frowned upon and now is the primary way people meet new people. Does me meeting Cousin John really apply to JDD? No. No, it doesn’t. Except I gotta follow the blogging process and that means writing things as they come, not refining it for maximum satisfaction and clarity. When I was in Chicago two years ago, I used those dating apps like any other person in their 20s even though I knew I was just visiting and also knowing I would soon be going abroad as well. Maybe I wanted to consider myself a soldier going off to war and create a relationship with someone that could send me love letters while I took down the Nazis. Or maybe I just had a lot of free time because both the people I was staying with worked and I was by myself a lot of the time. The moral of that story is I didn’t find a wife. Nor did I appear to find a wife during this trip to Chicago either but I still have a few hours till my plane potentially lifts off so there’s time. This blog isn’t about romance though, or this specific post. I know I’ve written about past loves and what not, and now it’s time to talk about another love. The love of friendship. One that has its own ups and downs just like any relationship, one that has tears and laughs, and one that has two other things that would sound good combined with one another. Bridget is a rare case. Oh who is Bridget? Bridget is the aforementioned JDD, a nickname I’ve had in my phone for so long that I sometimes do forget her name is Bridget and get confused why someone named their daughter John. Not that there is anything wrong with naming your daughter John or Jim Bob. The story of Hank and Bridget is a simple one though. We matched together on an app in Chicago as aforementioned, we never met up while I was in Chicago, I went abroad, we kept in contact, I met a girl from Spain in Ireland, randomly created a group chat to include said Spanish girl with other random friends and put Bridget in it as well, Bridget ended up meeting Spanish girl (Effy) in Ireland before she’d even met me, I came to Chicago again over two years later and finally met her. I’d say that’s your typical friendship of the 2010s right? Actually upon my interviews with other millennials I learned that it’s quite atypical to “meet” someone and then talk to them for over two years without ever actually “meeting” them. You could’ve fooled me. And meet we did and now we’re still friends. Cool story huh? No, no, no, I can’t end here. I devoted the first 200 words to stuff that had nothing to do with the Bridget relationship anyway, okay, I will dive even deeper. I don’t believe in soul mates and probably a big reason for my lack of belief is that the world is so huge and populated that the possibility of finding your one true love would be so infinitesimal that it would be futile and utterly depressing. Even if Jack and Rose from Titanic managed to do so but then he died anyway so screw that. I do think that certain people are placed in your life for specific reasons though. It could be something as simple as someone putting a smile on your face when you’re having a bad day, or something as complex as a girl from Chicago that seems opposite from you in about every way that becomes a lifelong source of positivity and inspiration. In our time knowing one another, we’ve had friendship fights, sometimes not speaking for months at a time. I say we because I want it appear that we were both at equal parts to blame for said fights. Instead they were typically always my fault, and happened because I took something I thought was funny and just kept going and going and it just ended up cruel and mean. Wait, what? This isn’t the point of the post though, she knows we’ve had fights, she knows I’m sorry and no one else needs to know that happened. Moving on. I was more just trying to say that I think all relationships of any sort have their trials and tribulations and it’s how you work through them and if you can work through them that will strengthen your bond for the future. Or they hate you and you never hear from them again. I must say that Bridget must truly have a very kind heart to put up with some of my crap throughout the ages and I’ll forever be grateful for that. I don’t wish to get too sappy because I’ve written sappy before, and as I watched Bridget’s sister walk away from the table as she gave an impromptu speech over the impact I’ve had on her life, I’d rather not suffer the same fate. It’s just a hard relationship to quantify. Friendship seems like too basic of a word but more than friends seems to imply a romantic element and it’s not that. It’s like the bond between a brother and a sister, who also are creatively charged individuals and can tap into the other to either recharger their own batteries or to overclock themselves. We started a book club and though I have three books from it, I only ever completely read the first. The memoir by Patti Smith, primarily about her time in the Chelsea Hotel and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe. A book that apparently so many young creative types harken to as inspiration that it almost seems cliche. Except hey guess what? A lot of people talk about how the Bible changed their lives and I don’t see them getting as much grief about it. The fact that I never read the next books in the book club due to our friendship fight is a bit of a downer, though I’m always up to restarting the club, but the impact the book had on us was still monumental. Even if neither of us are the starving artists living in a hovel and writing plays while we chain smoke cigarettes and sneakily drink leftover wine, we still felt a connection to the characters. A deep connection. And I like to think it’s because we saw ourselves in them. Just two people brought together in extraordinary circumstances and sure in their situation one became an artist in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the other became a famous photographer. I feel I’m probably closer to one of those paths than she is at the current moment and that’s okay. I guess just after the grief we’ve both thrown at each other throughout the years that I would prefer some documentation to show I’ve said or at least thought nice things in my life. I just want Bridget to know that I feel my life story has improved since she’s been a character in it and I obviously know the same has happened to her. I jokingly have referred to myself as her hero countless times, her best friend, her mentor, a father figure, any figure that sounds good, a god, etc. And though I probably am all those things to her, I just want her to know that she’s made such a positive impact in my life, that she gets the creative juices flowing, that she is a constant ray of sunshine even when my clouds go gray, and she even cracks the occasional funny remark. There is something to say about supportive people in your life, and then there’s something about people who are specifically so supportive about certain endeavors. Actually no, that isn’t fair to Bridget. Just because I do consider her a person that has helped to actually keep me going down creative roads, I can safely that she has always been there for any issue. That originally I might have considered her with a person that was so optimistic it was annoying but then I later realized that it’s good to have those people in your life provided they’re actually genuine and I can safely say she’s one of the most genuine people I know. As people have entered the room of where I’m writing I feel like I’ve kind of lost my train of thought and I might be repeating myself over and over because I have a strict no editing policy. I just wanted to say that I’m thankful that I finally got a chance to meet a dear friend in person and I hope to meet her again. I think we have a wonderful and weird relationship and that we are destined to create something together. Not entirely sure in her expertise regarding musicals, but maybe we’ll collaborate and write the next great American novels. I just want to know Bridget is loved and that I consider her an important part of my life, a vital part of my life, a dear dear friend, a person that I look up to, a person that makes me strive to go better, and for the second time, a person that has made me laugh at least once in my life just not yet entirely on the comedy rival level. Also glad to have a story of me meeting a person for the first time and getting matching tattoos to honor our weird bond and people we’ve never met. I knew this blog post would be a convoluted mess because that’s what Bridget and I are We’re an unquantifiable partnership, we’re cosmic companions, we’re [insert words here that apply]. At the very least, I hope Bridget can read this and appreciate it. I also hope she can restart the book club and we’re open to new members as well. Bridget, you’re a good woman, you’re a good person, and I’m excited for the day where I get invited to your wedding and get put in the wedding party somehow. Until then, we gotta think of something to change the culture of America and the world for the better. Bridget, know that I’ve now been watching two grown men fight and break tables and plates for the last twenty minutes and it’s made me working on a conclusion a bit difficult. Regardless, know you’re a special person and like I said, I think we were put in each other’s lives for a reason and that was to both improve the other. If you ever need a more concise version, just ask and I’ll try my best at a round two. So it goes.