I have several thank yous I want to write in the best way I know how, which is to publicly expose the people who have made my future career possible for being generous without reason.
This morning I bought the equipment that will very probably last for the rest of my career as an aerialist. I was able to do this for the majority because of my friend Daniel. So now I'm going to talk about him.
I met Daniel in a dark pub in the land of the black-water bayou. But I'm getting ahead of myself...
I'm speaking of Louisiana, in the very center, the very pit of it, where my father lives. In search of people to talk to under the age of 45 (try living without it for five months. You'll feel it too.) I went to the only acceptable bar in town, Finnegan's Wake. I ended up meeting a small collection of friends who invited me to join them. Over the next few weeks I saw them several times, and noticed that they kept dropping the name Daniel, with what could only be described as a note of deference in the tone of voice.
And on one particularly sweltering night, there he was. If you're picturing a boisterous, toothy bar-fly with a bayou twang always in the thick of it, stop and turn that inside out. He has a quiet, intense energy and a force in his presence that is refreshingly natural. When he talks to you, you are the only person and the only voice that exists. If you have ever met anyone capable of invoking that feeling you know you only want to keep talking to them. And I have absolutely no idea what we talked about. Maybe sex, maybe religion, probably both. He dropped a penny in my Guinness and thought it was the funniest thing ever, even though I was shocked and appalled.
We met for lunch before I moved, and sat outside on the patio of the restaurant. I got loud and mid-day drunk off of white wine and chain smoked. He laughed and talked and didn't fall for any of my bullshit.
I haven't seen him since I moved almost two years ago, but I remember warm brown eyes that see everything, and strange but intelligent speech patterns. Since then my experience of him has been sporadic phone calls. More than once in the past year, when the black was pushing hard on the edges of my mind, Daniel knew. He'd call me up at precisely the right moment and we'd pick up talking as though we'd been talking for hours already and were deep in conversation.
At this point I've deleted the text that was here because there is so much in him I feel shouldn't be publicized, even though my actual experiences of him have been few. Like giving away a really, really good book. In fact when I asked him if it were ok that I write a post about him as a thank you, his reply was "sure, if you need to," and a laugh.
We are so very, very different. But he lets me be whatever creature I am, and for what he is I am grateful.