I have an amazing memory. It's quite frightening what I remember.
The earliest memory of my life is me standing on the inside of our screen-door, I was two or three, and I watched my brother get on the bus for his first year of school. I remember crying, and looking down at the crack in the screen door where the weather stripping was peeling away, and wondering when my brother was coming home. I was wearing a pink shirt, and my underwear. No pants.
I fell asleep and when I woke up, my brother was home.
There are several other things that I remember from my childhood with such stunning clarity. I can tell you what I wore, what other people wore. I can tell you how the light filtered through the mini-blinds, and highlighted their face just so. I can tell you a plethora of minute details about nearly everything in my life, except... How Bart Howell and I became friends.
It started with a trip to Quinton, Oklahoma. I traveled there to help my high school speech coach with her new team. I was blocking out a monologue, and when I came out of my "directing haze" I spotted a man with black framed glasses and a wavy, comb-over hairdo smiling at me. A text message here, a text message there. Emails. Phone calls that lasted for hours. More emails.
For the life of me, I cannot tell you how, but our friendship grew and blossomed, and before I knew it...I had a friend that I'd known for only a short time, but really...I felt as though I'd known him all of my life. It was almost as if he could have been standing next to me as I watched my brother get on the number five bus that August morning.
I don't remember all of the sordid details of the beginning of our friendship, but I do know that I have been forever changed because I can say that Bart Howell is my best friend.
Although we are miles and miles apart, not a day passes that I don't think of him, and appreciate the fact that he is the other half of my brain. We have celebrated, plotted, cried, laughed, and cussed together. We have even developed our own form of Ebonics that we use quite liberally.
Of all the things I can remember, I am so very thankful for the moment that I cannot:
The moment that Bart Howell became my very best friend.
Although we will both see it, and pretend it never happened, I am going to write it anyway:
You are wonderful and amazing. Thank you for everything you do for me. Be it a phone call, naughty birthday card or something on a grand scale. I love you.