Thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being there for me before I knew I preferred the company of men to you. Thank you for being there after I knew I preferred the company of men to you. Thank you for not holding it against me that, ultimately, I would come to prefer the company of men to you. Even though it was apparent to you I would. Thank you for falling in love with me, then hating me when I could not return your advances, then falling back in love with me in a completely new way.
Thank you for being my homecoming date and my prom date. Thank you for not being my girlfriend. Thank you for telling me, “It’ll be okay,” when I told you my parents didn’t exactly take “the talk” all that well. Thank you for saying, “They’re all jerks, who needs ‘em anyway!” when I told you “I’m too swishy for the Indian crowd,” and “I’m too Indian for the swishy crowd.” Thank you for never using reductive pop culture stereotypes as decoder rings to “figure me out”.
Thank you for saying the exact same thing when my first boyfriend dumped me with no warning. Sometimes, a person just needs to hear, “They’re just jerks.” Thank you for realizing you could communicate the same thing and so much more by going out for a drink with me.
Thank you for being my +1 to events no matter how terrible the product launch/record release party/vague acquaintance whose birthday party I don’t want to go to but I probably should/restaurant opening was.
Thank you for being my +1 to gay bars because I need you there to have someone to talk to just long enough until somebody comes along and piques my curiosity. Thank you for not resenting me when I need you to fill this role especially when oiled-up go-go boys dangle their junk in front of you because most of them prefer your company to mine; thank you for not resenting the obscenely strong cocktails that tested your liver’s constitution; thank you for being such a hot mess with me during those times so well that the phrase “hot mess” itself is now not an abstract, dated term, but a tight conceit that can call forth an entire flood of memories, good and bad.
Thank you for knowing that drag queens are always right.
Thank you noticing when weekend strolls through the meat market were starting to take their toll. And thank you for not judging me after you noticed, but instead fixing me a cup of tea and listen to me go on and on and on and on; thank you for listening to me go on and on and on. Thank you for instinctively knowing that when this fatigue is apparent, the next reasonable step is to grab a six-pack and queue up dance music on your laptop.
Thank you for telling me my first short stories were “Nice, but probably shit.” Thank you for telling me that my later stories were “Actually kind of genius.” Thank you for noticing my word choice and subject selection; thank you for telling everyone you could about my work.
Thank you for noticing that I’m so vain and high-maintenance that I need multi-channel birthday messages from you. Thank you for calling me seconds after I deleted my Facebook profile last year to check up on me because you thought something horrible had happened. (It didn’t, I just needed a change of pace.)
Thank you for calling me out on my bullshit when I’m not being a good-enough listener and thank you for not screaming at me that one time I let your cookies burn in the oven because I got too busy watching Can’t Hardly Wait, but also for not letting me get away with such negligence entirely. Thank you for telling me when I’m being too unreasonable and picky. Thank you for letting me know when I am letting you down. Thank you for having one of the most sharply-honed bullshit detectors ever.
Thank you for encouraging me to take care of myself, for quietly judging me for occasionally poor eating habits. Thank you for telling me to go forward with bold life-changing new decisions because you knew as well as I do that neither of us should ever have to settle on mediocrity. Thank you for being there to balk at the people we both know who do settle on such mediocrity — and blithely, too.
Thank you for your inside jokes. Thank you for your phone calls, text messages and emails rife with inside jokes so dense that no outsider could ever hope to crack through to comprehension. Thank you for chuckling uncontrollably with me when we both think back to such inside jokes during otherwise inappropriate, but sterile and forgettable points in time.
Thank you for singing karaoke with me, whether on the streets, during dinner or actually at a bar. Thank you for not minding when I’m the only one singing — and loudly, too — especially when you don’t even know what I’m singing.
Thank you for assuming all the roles my cousins probably should’ve, but didn’t know how to the second I became a sentient adult. Thank you for being there in the past, present and probably in the future, too. Thank you for not being there when I probably needed a little space.
Thank you for knowing that sometimes, when the sh*t hits the fan and you or I may find ourselves stranded on what appears to be the island from Lost with no way back home, it’s the most necessary to come over with a case of beer and laugh at the hardship, because being despondent is admitting defeat. Thank you for never admitting defeat.
You are wonderful and let’s face it, I just would not be nearly as radical had none of you been in my life.
You can read more from Rohin Guha on his blog.
Feature image via.