What can I say to you that I haven’t already said countless times before? How about this: next year will be the sixth year of my wacky friendship with you. Essentially then, as is the case with only a handful of others, we’ve known each other throughout almost the entirety of our lives in college. At the same time, this is only a simple fact about the camaraderie that we share; something to be noted, but nothing too extraordinary. And knowing your ever sarcastic self, you might joke that neither of us really had that much of a choice in the matter anyhow! After all, early on in our chapter at Pasadena we became friends with a number of the same people, and through them and every gathering that they’ve garnered, you might say that our collision was sort of inevitable. Maybe there’s a considerable degree of truth to that, even if said jokingly. Yet at the same time, we both know that’s not actually the only reason we’ve been friends for so long.
Here a memory comes to mind: Not long after our first encounter over nachos, we found ourselves in a car ride on the way to UCLA, maybe for another party? If I remember correctly, it was you, me, Danielle, Jordan, and maybe Stephen and Ali. I don’t know, someone was driving, but it was neither of us. Instead, you and I were seated next to each other in the back! (Hell yeah!) And it was a freaking blast. The thing is, while I didn’t have nachos on that second adventure to Westwood like I did the first night we hung out there, what I did have were jokes. Even better than that though, is that you had jokes too! And well, at nineteen years old, you know that I figured there were hardly any better ways to laugh than to joke about our yearning desires for one another. At this point I can hear your voice again, saying something like: “tsch, you mean your yearning desires. Weirdo.” To that, I can only smile, because that’s where the magic lies; since almost the very moment we met, you and I have spoken in a verse rich with playfulness, confidence, and a fiery wit.
And I’d say, almost immediately, we just got one another because of this. We understood that each of us enjoyed playing, that each of us valued the sense of who we were and are, and that as a result, we could have fun around one another as well as those around us. To say this is unique would only scratch at the surface of how much it actually means to me.
When I first met you D, I didn’t know that you would change my life so dramatically, but somehow, I did know that something was changed for me indefinitely. The thing is, our joking was only the start of something that would evolve into a serious alteration of the road I knew up until that point in my life. In turn, sitting next to you through the road to Westwood that night, we were going somewhere much farther together, even if neither of us could predict just quite where; while it seemed like just another adventure, it was much more in the making.
It would become years of late conversations, spontaneous meals together, traveling together, and with not only more joking in the ‘verse’ I’ve described, but also with more debates, adventures, and a myriad of other connections that we’ve found with one another quite naturally, and which we still find with one another today as if none of it has ever even happened before; as if our friendship today is as fresh as it was nearly six years ago out on the town.
And again, this isn’t something that I haven’t already said to you in one form or another. But here’s something which might be kind of new after all. Do you remember that night about almost two years ago, when I first got to Davis and you drove me home after the first time I met Nelly and Soums (in person)? You might remember that I was ecstatic about the whole encounter, and that in the midst of my excitement I said, filled with conviction:
DANIELA, WE CAN FALL IN LOVE TOGETHER NOW.”
At the sound of this, you could hear my conviction, knowing that I wasn’t just joking somehow (as we had so often joked about for years by then), and you replied with curiosity:
“What? How? Why are you saying that?! What do you mean?”
I didn’t say it then, but I could hear that you weren’t totally dismissive of the idea. Even now, I seriously appreciate this.
Because here’s my reading of that moment. What I was saying that night was that being next to you after parting ways for over a year, over 400 miles from when and where we first met, and in a home far away from home at Davis after spontaneously meeting your friends in the midst of an otherwise average school night–what I was saying then–is that as you were taking me to my apartment that night, it dawned on me that somehow, in a fantastic way, through our friendship it was clear that anything was possible. Anything.
Lo and behold, just over a year after that first night hanging out in Davis, the fantastic road would lead us to share a home together. An amazing home, filled by a mutual sense of hospitality, community, and love for our friends, family, and more. But what humbles me more these things my dear, is that during this latest and most intimate adventure together, not only did our wacky verse continue through the days and nights as two house-mates, but more impressively, our way with words also led us to war with words, leading us to clash fiercely, at times chillingly, and at other times, seemingly irreconcilably, pushing us to the utmost edge with one another with each of our backs turned and only a moment away from completely abandoning any further length of friendship.
Instead of giving up on one another, however, like a pair of equals brought together by both the fortune of the world as well as its misfortune, and like two warriors dead set on anything but the loss, like a true brother and sister, instead of losing each other, we’ve spoken our way back to friendship through the same verse that first brought us together: in a humble, respectful, and ultimately loving language. Every single time, this has led us right back to our joking, provoking, and other moments of sharing between our minds and our passions. For this, you know how I love to brag about how we’ve both indisputably become stronger individuals, not just on our own, but more importantly: as a pair, together in struggle as well as in triumph.
In hindsight, then, just like every day and night we shared our classic verse in Westwood, and every day and night we shared it over the phone or our computers, like every day and night we shared our verse as neighbors at Davis, and every day and night which would we would share it as two people literally living together, through all our coming together in both the thin and thick of it, I can only believe with even more conviction than before, that anything is in fact still possible!
After all, a little over a year ago at Arlington Farms, I remember arriving to the apartment one time to find you in tears my dear. It was one of those days where money was terribly tight, and where it seemed like there was no luck or hope for a bright girl like yourself, who had a lot to give if given the opportunity. It was tough to see this D, but rather than cheering you in counsel, I silently cheered you on, in hopes that things would look up. Even then as you were crying, I trusted that it would all get better, because by that point I had long known how you would get over it: by finding strength in the beauty of the world rather than being weighed down by its heaviness.
Fast forward a year later, and you’re in uniform, working a full-time job, and coming home like a true warrior that refuses to be weighed down, choosing instead to live her life with love, laughter, and kindness. And hile we didn’t FALL IN LOVE, I would say that we most definitely formed a new love, in our heart to hearts, our impassioned bickering, and in our coming together at the end of it all to laugh in unity about every bit of it.
Because here is another thing that I have said before, but which you have also said: we are going to be in each others’ lives for a long time to come. So long, I believe, that it will make the past nearly six years only the foundation of a grand bedrock’s worth of friendship; unmoved by the times, built to last through wind, storm, fire, and any other change which must take place.
I am vigorously grateful for each and every moment that we’ve shared Daniela. I look forward to many more, and wish you the best of what the world has to offer until I have the chance to do so myself. Of course, naturally, I know you’ll make the best out of it. You always have. But whenever you need me, as you’ve always been there for me when I’ve most needed your friendship, I am only a moment away my dear. Just a single moment. You have not only my word for this, but the proven experience of it during the time that we’ve shared, in the verse that we’ve shared, and through the memories which flow from there.
Thank you, D, for your wicked loyalty and resilience. As always, I trust that in the end, both of these qualities can only give you peace, happiness, and plenitude.
WITH LOVE AS VAST AS THE SKIES THAT OVERSEE OUR DAILY JOURNEYS,
YOUR LOYAL FAN, FRIEND, AND ALLY,
Jimmy “JIMBO” Recinos