In Which I Greet My Friend Jason On His 30th Birthday

As you may have gleamed from this earlier post, it’s not easy for me to find friends in real life.

It’s tough making real connections when you’re a testy bitch with poor social skills.

I won’t be surprised if you assume that Jason is my imaginary friend.

Except he’s not.

I met Jason maybe more than a decade ago (I can’t remember exactly when). We were both contestants in a college-wide history contest — neither of us won.

Whenever we reminisce about the contest, he insists that we both did great despite neither of us winning; it’s a very generous version of what actually happened. I remember feeling seriously outclassed during the contest. After all, I had no idea what the capital of Burkina Faso was.

(Trivia: it’s Ouagadougou.)

He didn’t walk into the contest venue.

I clearly remember him swaggering in.

I won’t lie and say I liked him immediately. Even from afar I could tell that he was brash, loud, and kind of a blowhard. Not really the sort of guy I’d hang with, you know.

But he was smart.

Oh so very smart.

And if there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s this: I can overlook a lot of things when massive intellect is involved.

I didn’t like him immediately, but there’s no denying that I was impressed.

(I still am, really. Dude’s brain is filled with so much trivia I don’t know how he fits anything else in there.)

Fast forward ten years, and we’re still friends.

In a way, it’s kind of surprising.

Jason is infuriating.

He never knows when to shut up.

He can turn a casual conversation into a raging argument in the blink of an eye.

He is all-around inflammatory.

 A decade in and he’s still unrelenting, brash, loud, and still a bit of a blowhard.

You know, what, though?

This friendship makes perfect sense.

I realized recently that many of my funniest memories begin with the words “that one time, my friend Jason and I…”

Quick digression — a brief list of my favorite memories involving this guy:

  • Got buzzed hours before a birthday party we were supposed to attend; drove halfway to his house (he lives way out in the sticks) instead of the venue before we realized the mistake.
  • Then when we got to the venue, he started hitting on all the college girls (we were a year or two out of college, I think). I was the world’s shittiest wingman. I did nothing but grin at people.
  • I fell asleep after a beer drinking contest and woke up to him shaking my leg. Long story short, he woke me so he could sing and dance “Yeah Yeah Bonel” to a captive audience (aka Me).
  • Got smashed on cheap tequila while in Tagaytay. We were chatting on the balcony and I was trying my fucking hardest not to vomit my guts out. Every time I turned to face him I would get woozy, so I said, “Jason, nasusuka ako pag tinitignan kita (Jason, looking at you makes me nauseous).”
  • Went drinking in Tomas Morato (macho mug, hells yeah) and afterwards we decided to go to Manila Bay so “he could visit his merpeople”. (I don’t know if this is still true, but at that time he was convinced he was a merman.) Fucker let my drunk ass sleep on the sea wall. I could have fallen into the water, asshole.

(I realize that all of these stories are drunken shenanigans, but the truth is that I’m so boring and regular that I don’t really get into shenanigans unless I’m smashed. Also, they’re not really very good shenanigans, are they?)

There is no one out there who makes me laugh louder than this bastard.

He has zero boundaries, no concept of propriety, and a tongue that fears nothing. I want to hate him sometimes, but you can’t really hate someone who makes you laugh non-stop every time you meet.

He gets me to play hooky when I’m trying to be a responsible adult.

He makes me laugh over the stupidest shit.

He traps me into these long-winded, senseless arguments that leave me angry/amused.

It’s all seemingly contradictory.

Here’s a guy I logically shouldn’t like because he’s the opposite of nearly everything I am, but I cannot imagine myself not being friends with him.

So here’s to my favorite bastard, my trusty drinking buddy, my fucking awesome friend.

Happy birthday.

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