Yesterday, I talked about me.
Today, I’m going to tell you about my friend Jimi. And then, I’m probably going to spend the rest of the afternoon crying. But for some reason, I feel like I HAVE to do this. So I’m going to put it into list form, because I like making lists.
Ten Things about my friend Jimi (in no particular order.)
10. He was funny as hell. I spent so many nights, laughing until I thought my face would explode. The sense of humor on that guy was incredible. I can’t even spend much time describing this, and I don’t have to. If you knew him, you know this. Dude was funny, and he saw the humor in literally every situation, even really, really shitty ones. Our last text message, he was laughing at me because I was sick, and because I was pregnant I couldn’t take anything. I shit you not, laughing at the sick pregnant lady. But I was laughing with him. This is what I miss most of all, laughing with him.
9. He was not two faced. If he was your friend while you were in the room, he was your friend when you left it. When I messed up, he’d say so to my face, and accept my apology if it was genuine. If it wasn’t, he’d call me on that too. And somehow, even though he was delivering a tough pill to swallow, I’d feel like he was doing me a favor, and that it hurt him as much to say it as it was for me to hear it.
8. He secretly liked it when I made fun of other people. He would pretend that I was being a jerk and say with his mouth “Oh Sam, maybe she likes that crazy ass outfit, if it’s what she digs who cares?” But his eyes told the real story, and pretty soon he’d crack a smile. I went through this phase where I would get drunk and steal stuff, thinking it was hilarious to steal random stuff from people. Nothing of real monetary value, mind you. So one night I was three (or maybe seven) sheets to the wind, and we were at some random house, with random people. Someone had gone and gotten burritos..but we didn’t get any burritos. So as we were leaving, I swiped one of the burritos, a big ass burrito, the size of your head (B-towners holler!). We got in the car and I showed him my stolen goods. “Sam I am appalled, what kind of person steals a burrito? That’s some fat kid shit! You should be ashamed. Now give me half.”
7. He was an old soul, a gentleman. He didn’t discuss women or money with just anyone, so if you had a candid, specific conversation about either of those things with him, consider yourself in the circle of trust.
6. He was superhero strength perceptive when it came to people. He could spot a poser, a thief, a con artist, a liar from a mile away. At the funeral everyone kept saying how he would hang out with anyone and didn’t judge people. Which is true, he would HANG OUT, have a drink, tell a few jokes, and make you think you were the coolest person he had ever met. He was socially brilliant. But he was sizing you up, and all it would take was one shift of a person’s eyes to tell him that they weren’t on the up and up. He was guarded, wouldn’t use a urinal, or sit with his back to the door. But you probably would never notice because he was cooler than Samuel L Jackson drinking a milkshake in a snowstorm. I could have a conversation with him across the table without saying a word, because he just GOT IT.
5. He was probably the most intelligent human being I’ve ever known. Don’t get me wrong, I know some really smart cookies. Some REALLY smart cookies. But this guy could talk about ANY.THING, with anyone. Quantum physics? No problem. He would get to talking with someone and I’d just sit there, blown away like..I have known you for nine goddamned years and I have never once heard you mention this, and you’re sitting here all well versed like it was your major in college? What the hell!! Not once in 10 years did I ever hear of anyone who didn’t like him. Not anyone!
4. He snored when he was awake, hummed while he peed, and could always put a baby to sleep in about 30 seconds. He liked that cheesy ass song “Loving You”. He caught every pun, every reference to every movie, even random ones like “Annie.”
3. You could count on him. Back in the early days, I thought he was SUCH a flake, that he couldn’t be counted on at all. But I just hadn’t learned his language just yet. You ask him if he would like to attend this party with you on Friday. He would say “That sounds pretty cool.”
Notice, he didn’t say “I will go with you.”
Thursday came along, and you would mention it to him again, “Are you still down to go to this party tomorrow night?” and he would say “Give me a call tomorrow, I’ve got a few things to do, but it does sound like fun.”
Friday afternoon..”Well I’m going to make myself presentable, and I will give you a call when I’m ready to make moves.”
And..you might end up going to that party alone. But how can you be mad? He never said “I am definitely going with you.” So he didn’t flake. But you can bet, if he said “I will be there.” He would be there.
My wedding day just happened to fall on the same day as a Phish concert. He gave me a ration of shit, but I never doubted he’d be there. And he was, and he told me I looked radiant. Radiant! It was pretty much the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me.
2. He was a genuinely good person. There aren’t many people in the world that I know of that are truly good. I should say that being a good person,and being without sin are not the same thing. He did plenty of sinning, and dammit we had a fantastic time with the debauchery. He didn’t cheat. He was a REALLY good friend. He listened when people talked. He spoke his mind without being abrasive. He was well mannered but not pretentious, said bless you when people sneezed, held doors open. When I found out I was pregnant, he knew before my mom did. He would say things like “It’s really good to hear your voice, Sam.” and “That’s what she said.” He saw the good in people.
1. I can’t make a list about Jimi without mentioning music. Oh my god..the things this man taught me about music, I could fill a book with. I never once introduced him to a band or artist that he’d never heard of, no matter how obscure. I would say a solid 50% of what’s in my ipod came from him. The other half is stuff he thought was stupid. So this is why I can’t even listen to music anymore..I hear him in my head saying “Sam, what is this garbage?” Or “This is the shit right here.”
I see him everywhere, I hear him in my head. I think about him a billion times a day. I miss him SO. FUCKING. MUCH.
So, I’ll end this with a signature joke of his. He taught me this joke to help me sort out the real people from the fake people, and now I’ll share with with you.
Bert & Ernie are playing frisbee in the park. Bert throws the frisbee and it goes WAY over Ernie’s head, and into the trees. Ernie says “Bert, that was your fault, you need to go get that frisbee!” And Ernie replies “Burt, what do I look like? A FUCKING POTATO CHIP??”
Now this part is key, you have to really sell it. Laugh your head off, like you’ve never heard such a funny joke in your entire life, like you can barely squeak out the last line because you’ll bust a gut.
And as you’re laughing, look around. Those wh0 are laughing like they get it, they’re the ones you want to avoid, they’re phonies. The ones who have the guts to say “I don’t get it”…those are the real.