Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The 69th

This post I dedicate to my bros, near and dear, even when far away.

The reason I'm making this a special post is because it is indeed, the 69th post. At a glance, you may realize that you've been reading a pervert's blog all along and now you must stop. But if you read on, you will understand. (Therefore, if you see me reference 69 in any further posts, you will know the reason. Woo hoo.)

While the number 69 represents something best explained by the Kamasutra, to me it serves as a harbinger of times past with my closest friends. No, it doesn't mean I've shared intimate times in said intimate positions with my best friends. However, reference to 69 has become an intricate ongoing joke between us guys that would often crop up when we'd hang out. True, it isn't the most ingenious or mature thing to laugh about, but it was/is a part of us.
Cups at Village Inn we artfully arranged.

You may wonder how we could get a kick out of it over and over again, but its just like with any "secret funny" you have with your friends. For instance, when we'd be discussing a serious plan for a project and we wonder how much of something we'll need, someone might say "Well, we'll need about 69 of them, I think". When such jokes were inserted into the conversation upon unsuspecting ears, we'd literally be rofling. As I said before, this post isn't just about that magical number. 69 is only part of the whole scheme of things. 69 reminds me of my friends. Particularly, my bros.

Our group was and still is a strange bunch and we usually all referred to each other with nicknames. Ninety percent of the time was spent at Add's giant house-mansion-castle, the perfect haven for food-consuming, zombie-killing, caffeine-hyped teenage boys. He and his brothers, SoyBean/Sora and Paxward/PaxyMad, were the game gurus and always had an open controller for someone to play. In addition to all the Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper, they'd open cans of Whoop-Ass on us inexperienced Halo and COD players. Twas discouraging at first, but proved to be good motivation to step up one's game.

Mikey and Matthias were the Puerto-brothers and long time friends with Add's family. I got to know them during my five years at Larson Lifestyle Center. Mikey became known as "Dumb Farmer" because of his country-boy persona and his incredibly improbable ideas that he considered legit. I got close to their family when we'd all go out to their farm-house-place for pellet gun wars.

Thomass is my best friend who I've known since Kindergarten. We didn't really decide to be friends, it sort of just happened. Throughout grade school, the number of males decreased rapidly and eventually we found ourselves needing to click, and doing so with ease. A Dynamic Duo was formed.

Mikey and I.
High school was also when T-Man came along. He filled in a third spot, creating a Terrific Trio. Its interesting what vast differences there are between the three of us. The logical, black-and-white, number-crunching mathematician. The hands-on, physical labor, automotive, sports guy. And the passionate, artsy, charismatic writer. Yet something was so natural about the three of us hanging out. It worked well.

Before high school, in 8th grade, our group was smaller. The guys in the class below me were instant bros because the two classes combined, making for quick but long term friendships.

Alex (I guess I don't have a nick name for him) was a little punk back in my Junior high days that liked to flip me off. So I'd pick him up by his jacket and hold him against a locker. We were buds though, and became closer as time went on. Since that time, he's sparked an appetite for adventure in me and has been a great person to work with on projects. His business-mind and inclination towards efficiency have proven quite useful in balancing out and assisting in making our day dreams reality.

For awhile, I wasn't sure what to think about Meier. He was a quiet guy, and I'd never talked to him much before. But somewhere between long nights at Add's and random moments at school, we became buddies. A computer-guy and dedicated gamer, Meier and I were kindred spirits, and soon were bros.

I'd known Ethaniel and Basketball Jones long before they became "bro status". Their moms worked with my mom and so we'd always hang out together at the office parties or vacations. Ethaniel and I underwent a couple years of disdain for one another as we each pursued the same female. Lesson learned: bros before... ladies. But as Barney Stinson would amend, "Unless she's hott".

Back in high school, the weekend was our playground; a blank surface where practically anything could happen if we'd just dream it. Of course, the vast majority of weekends consisted of late night gaming, fast food runs, and YouTube watching. And though video games were the main draw for us, even the most avid gamers became fatigued and sought other outlets. We'd get bored and literally sit around and just talk. No matter how unproductive or inappropriate or ridiculous, it was each other's presence that counted. All of us just living and being in the same place was what bonded us together. The pointless conversations, stalemated arguments, and outlandish ideas made for memorable times.

Bros about to enjoy a feast.
Over the years, those nights and events were full of fun and endless laughter. But eventually there came serious times. In striving to refocus our lives on God, CVA began what was called "The Atmosphere Project". Though it was not the answer to everyone's questions and problems, there were positives. One of the things that took place was a series of nights where anyone could stand on stage and basically open themselves up. Whether it be telling about their parents' divorce or drug experimentation, us kids were allowed to share and feel safe. Of course there was controversy when some people used it as a means for attention or other reasons. But regardless, there were a few months where us guys explored a different area of our friendships.

The first few nights were especially deep as we exposed the secret areas of our beings with one another. Friday nights and Sabbath afternoons where we'd talk and discuss important matters in our lives, give advice, and just listen to what the others had to say. Though things changed and the regular meetings ceased, it became obvious that what the group of us gentlemen had was more than casual gaming and adventures. We were bros.

These events and moments aren't ancient history or things that happened long ago, though they feel very distant at times. I find myself reminiscing on days gone by. Times when things were easier, even though I know they didn't feel that way back then. Usually when I become nostalgic, I remember moments when I felt indestructible and carefree with my bros. Whether at Add's house, at the lake, or driving around late at night for the hell of it. They aren't just my friends, they're my bros. People I've chosen to become close to. With them, I've built couch sleds, killed zombies, ate too much Taco Bell, drank way too much caffeine, discussed girls, pondered life's mysteries, gone swimming at 4 am, constructed a giant Crunchwrap Supreme, baked a MineCraft cake, collected thousands of hot sauce packets, set off countless fireworks, and thrown 11 dollars in pennies out of my car. I've laughed, brainstormed, shared personal things, and even cried with these extraordinary gents. So for me to not dedicate this monumental 69th post to them would be an atrocity.

Here's to you, my bros. I don't know where I'd be without your love (no homo, maybe a little) and support. May we continue being awesome, accomplishing our goals, and someday there will never be any distances between us anymore. I can't wait.

Sitting on our baby and first couch sled "The Wood Screw"
Left to right: BasketBall Jones, T-Man, Me, Thomass 

A quick end-note. All my friends are important. I have stronger connections with some friends more than others. This post is about those I am most strongly attached. All of "The Guys" know who you are, even if not mentioned in this post, and I cherish each of you. Nuff said.

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on your 69th, Josh. I graduated from public high school in 1969, so have become accustomed to the secret giggles from the male population. Loved hearing about your bros though! Some special times to remember for a lifetime!!!