the bride is a slacker and hasn't written any mushy crap about the bitches in her bridal party. cut me some slack, it's coming.
My Best Man is my first best friend. My brother Darrell has literally been there my entire life. We grew up and faced all the same trials together sometimes side by side, sometimes face to face and sometimes when he wasn't looking, I was right behind him. My big brother. I will always remember the times he stood up for me for no other reason than that. There was a time in Carney Academy, which we both attended a year apart, when a boy, Kyle Nasa, thought I had hit him with a ball and he came towards me like he was going to hit me. He was a sixth grader, I was a third grader. As I'm watching this much taller kid posting up in front of me, I'm expecting to get knocked out as all my so called friends are backing away. Like a freight train I see my brother shoulder rush him from behind and he goes sprawling on the cement. My face just dropped. My brother tackled a sixth grader and was ready to open a can on him. I don't think I've ever been prouder to be his little brother. I've never forgot that. Even through all our little scuffles and arguments, I've never forgotten. My Brother.
I don't know if its because we share a name, but I look at my friend Aaron and wonder if my life could have been like his. We've walked very similar paths at times and I look at the courage he has to just get up and do the things he does and I wonder if that could be me. We've sang, sparred, ran and studied the world. All starting from a little circle and a mesh ball of beads. We agree on so many ideas and ideals. And yet to see us we have very distinctive styles. I think that's what makes him such a dear friend to me. He has distinction that you don't see in the world anymore. He has a glow to him where you can just tell the sun doesn't have to shine for him to see it's a beautiful day. Always thoughtful and kind, and more than anything dependable. Anyone who needs a shoulder to lean on might want to look his way. He has never let me down.
Cousin, schoolmate, fellow musician, business partner, fellow artist, Red Feather brother, snappy dresser. How don't we connect? We met in Keith Junior High School while waiting to get in the door to get on with the day. I was talking, he was quiet. Since then we've made movies, music and waves in the community. He's been there for me in some pretty scary times. I lived at his house for a couple weeks when my landlord almost blew up the apartment building I lived in. His family, Mr and Mrs. Grace, have never hesitated to open their door or their lives to me and for that I will be forever grateful. I can't imagine being without them. And now as we continue to live and grow, I'm still talking and he's still quiet. Just waiting to get on with the day.
The first thing this kid ever said to me, "Come on, you can do it if I can. I thought this kid was supposed to be awesome?" And hell if I haven't tried to live up to that ever since. I don't think anyone pushes me like Josh Davis. Bigger, stronger, faster, this kid just keeps finding ways of making me have to work to keep up with him as he just does it. An effortless air of "it's whatever." Even when we're working together its a competition. Having Josh around is like having a personal trainer that will not let you sit down. Hey did you finish that story? You can't lift that generator to the car by yourself? You still haven't finished that drink yet? The very definition of being on the grind, Josh has the drive, the talent and the power to be anything. I just hope I can get there at the same time for once. But if not, I'll expect him to be looking back saying, "hurry up. we've got more to do."
You ever meet someone who just always has the right answer, but will not tell you until you need to hear it. Joshua Dayton is the master of that. Always collected and stoic, usually with a new Sam Adams flavor in his cup, just hanging back. That is until it's time to work. For all his relaxing, he puts in ten times that amount when we need to get things done. Like an older cousin who's seen it all he starts directing traffic and putting things in place. Plans and strategies just flow from him like bass lines and you can't help but listen. There's an oddly placed wisdom in him and he doesn't flaunt it. He's not flashy, he's not overbearing, he's Josh and he's right where he wants to be. Being as incredibly grounded as he is, he's a wonderful friend and an invaluable resource. A reality check I could never afford, admission price one cold beer.
Inseparable. Can I say inseparable? Is that a good enough word? Does that cover the span of time I spent practically living side by side with this kid. We spent so much time together my brother starting calling him a brother. My mother would count him in for holidays and events before he knew they were happening. If i was hanging around the house, no one would ask what was up they would ask where's Derek? Hilarious origin story here, the first thing I said to Derek was for him to shut up. First thing he said to me is, "You want to tag with me?" Seems normal right? Next time I see him he's at my house in my mom's car sitting in the front seat. I had completely forgot about the tagging thing. We spend the day laughing and joking, standing outside some store begging for money so we could go to Washington DC. I don't think it counts as sleepovers when you spend consecutive days at someone’s house. At one time I had my own set of bedspreads and linen that his mom bought for me when I would sleep over. I know without a doubt that my teenage years would not have mattered if Derek wasn't my best friend the whole time. I remember the day he shipped out for basic, just thinking. There was no way I would see him for months at a time. Not a chance. And it was scary. Especially when he REALLY shipped out overseas and went on active duty. I told him, if something happened I'd be on the first plane over to get him out. And nothing has changed.