Pause. Time out. I’m taking a break from telling stories to highlight one of the most important people in my life.
You see, I had to work to get this friendship. His real name is Chris but his karaoke name is Britney Beards.
Every night when I first started going to Empire I found him to be one of the most interesting souls I have ever seen. I wanted to be his friend. Problem was, HE WOULDN’T TALK TO ME.
Who doesn’t talk to me? THAT GUY.
I would be chilling outside on a picnic table and he would appear out of thin air and would stand and smoke a cigarette. I would smile and say hello. I would try to catch his eye or find a way to start a conversation but as quickly as I would think of something to open with he would be gone.
This went on for a looooong time.
Then karaoke happened.
I think we all need to take a moment to give Nick the credit he deserves for bringing people together. He is going to be my next post.
So I’m at karaoke and Chris somehow ends up in the seat across from me. The beauty of karaoke is it brings all walks of people together for the common good, to see who has the balls to get up in front of a crowd and sing their ass off.
I’m a good singer, Chris is a GREAT singer (later on I would learn he is a professional karaoke host.) We would take our turns singing songs and congratulate each other on a job well done. We started to chit chat and bond and he was funny and smart and everything I knew he would be. It was the end of the night when I decided I was going to force him to be my friend. I was so sly about it too. I said “Damn it Chris, you’re going to be my friend. From now on when you see me you have to sit with me.” and he said “Okay!”
I have such a way with words.
From that moment on we have spent every evening together. He is THE BEST. Truly one of the funniest people I have ever met. He finds the best memes, starts incredibly awkward and uncomfortable conversations on purpose (and then would walk away while the entire group had a meltdown. Fucking Lucas and the ass shaving, I’ll never forgive Chris for that one, it lasted about a month), and is a master masseuse.
In the months since I have brought Chris out of his Empire shell (I take credit. One day Chris was doing what he does best and someone said “Where did you even come from?” and he was like “Julie!”) he has become a key part to everyone’s night. He has this thing he does where he can pop every knuckle in your hand (I hate it, everyone else loves it), if you have a headache or sore back (or elbow like Dex) he will massage it, if you need a laugh he will pull up a meme that will make you forget your worries, and on the days it’s too cold for me to sit outside he will stay inside with me even though all the rest of our heathen friends are outside smoking.
Men don’t mind that he gives them kisses on the cheek and makes awkward sexual comments to push the boundaries, women want his magic fingers. He always compliments me even though he isn’t the type of person who feels comfortable complimenting people. He knows how I crave attention so he always takes the time to find something positive about me and will give a compliment in the sweetest way, sometimes I even get a high five. It makes my night.
He tortures Grayson, helps Crystal when she has a migraine, has cured MANY headaches for me, has gotten me through some rough times, and keeps me warm on the days I try to brave the elements on the patio (he puts off a ton of body heat and often gives me his jacket.)
When I sat down to write this I thought it would be more eloquent and dramatic so forgive me if I am not doing this man justice. He is one of the best friends I have ever had, has become an integral part of everyone’s night at Empire, and the first question my husband asks before a night he goes out is “Will Chris be there?” because a night out just isn’t a night out if Chris isn’t there to enjoy it with you.
Buddy, I don’t know if you’re going to read this (you will, I’m going to make you) or what you will think of it (I have an idea, “Aww! My Julie!”) but I wanted the world to know they are missing out on the kindest, most unique, hilarious, delightful person they would ever be so lucky to meet. Thanks for being you. I love you, appreciate you, and miss you on the days you’re not there. You’re mine for life.