I have a best friend. Her name is Dr. Rei. I know the term, "best friend" sounds incredibly cheesy and juvenile, like "boyfriend" or "noogie" - these are words that after a certain point should be left to gently moulder in a dusty corner, relics of our youth. But more than "boyfriend," and certainly more than "noogie," there is no other nomenclature that speaks to what she is to me, and how the slog would be so much more grey without her presence.
She is both my best friend and a best friend, possessive and singular. She is the best friend that I, Karl Lagerfeld could possibly have and she embodies the qualities that one wants in a friend the very best.
We didn't start off this way. This friendship has been growing and deepening for over 10 years - maybe 11? Forged in the fiery depths of TorontoJungle.com, nearly incinerated in a stupid squabble (in which I provided 99% of the stupid fuel) over a stupid, disposable boy, we rose like a phoenix from the ashes (more specifically, like Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, from his ashes) bound by the simple truth that we found a way, over time, to be able to look back on the fact that I once famously threatened to punch her face in, with rueful, mutual, belly-aching laughter (have I mentioned sufficiently on here that I used to be crazy? It bears repeating.)
We have traveled together, literally and figuratively. We've witnessed and supported each other through life's touchstone moments and we've built a bank of memories that's so rich I can greedily withdraw any number of recollections that will have me laughing out loud in the present, laughing as hard as I did at the time we made and deposited the moment. We have a shared language, a shorthand of events, instances, characters to draw from and that we're constantly adding to. I will always remember Dr. Rei's tears when she came and visited us in the hospital after the birth of Master T, the catch in her voice, the way it seemed that she comprehended the enormity of the paradigm shift in our lives Master T's arrival signaled more than we did.
We've grown together and changed together and have arrived at a free, easy present that could only come from the most profound understanding and hours logged.
You can be more unguarded and generous with your best friend than with your partner; you don't have to hold anything back, the stakes are a little lower. Dr. Rei offers thoughtful, frequently hilarious counsel and I look to her to help me muddle through any number of problems, large and small. She's been an observer and a participant in my life with the Dotytron, to the point where so many of the memories I share with him are punctuated by the sound of her laughter in the background. I will also always remember lying bewildered and confused in the dark in some horrid, squalid, tourista hotel room in Rome on our last night in Italy, woken at some ungodly hour by the Dotytron thrashing about in our bed next to me, talking (more correctly: yelling) in his sleep about some nonsense, and having the whole surreal experience punctuated by Dr. Rei's muffled giggles in the next bed.
I look forward to palling around with her in our old age, cackling and talking smack about our kids and grandkids and (fates willing) our great grandkids, and going to see Kanye West at Casino Niagara and complaining about how overpriced the buffet is.
I love that girl to pieces. I'm lucky to have her around to make the slog that much less sloggier.
Here' a photo of the Boobla Khan in his Bumbo, in a rare moment when he had the strength to support his own head and wasn't slumped over under the weight of his own noggin and cheeks:
Monday night's supper of whole wheat penne carbonara with peas:
Last night's supper of beef, barley, mushroom soup and a panini of roasted red peppers, white onion, and brebis cheese: