We always tell each other that we wish we met in high school and got together then. We’ll go down this imaginary scenario every time we hear some Alice in Chains or Tool song playing on the radio. We always start with, “I love this song” complete with me warbling the lyrics and you violently tapping on the steering wheel as a makeshift drum kit. Some songs bring us back to 2002, 2003, 2004, and we can’t help but laugh and remember what we were like. Then either you or me will say, “I wish I knew you then. I would have fallen so hard for you.”
It’s our little flirting game that never ever gets old.
We do this all the time because it’s our way of saying, “I wish we didn’t have to wait so long to find each other.” We know it’s silly. We got together when we were 24. It’s not like we’re also asking to erase all the stupid things and heartaches we went through because as the adage goes, we wouldn’t be who we are without it.
From where I stand, it’s me trying to tell you that I wish I can rewrite history because it feels so empty imagining times without you in it. Or that some moments would’ve been a hundred times better if you were there.
I can picture loving a 14 year old you, or a 21 year old you, a 40 year old you, a 53 year old you. Though today you are 30 and I just want you to know that I love you for who you were, who you are now, and who you will be.
Happy Birthday, Joel. Thank you for being you.