Written on 9/2/2008
QUESTION: Do you know anyone who seems to consider you to be one of their best friends, but you just kind of consider them to be nothing more than a mere acquaintance of yours? I mean, you like this person, but you don’t really consider them a good friend of yours, in fact, you may not even sure what their name is. However, every time you see them they go on and on about how awesome they think you are, how important your friendship is to them, about how you are one of their best friends, a bunch of stories/memories between you and them that you have no recollection of, etc.?
SECOND QUESTION: Have you ever thought someone was dead, but they really weren’t? For some reason, you either heard it somewhere or thought you heard somewhere that this person had passed away, but then you unexpectedly found out by encountering them or hearing otherwise, that they weren’t dead after all?
Well, one night I was partying at Fun City in Burlington, IA and I has an awkward interaction with someone who fits both of those categories.
So I arrived at Fun City one night and sat down in a chair by the bar next to the dance floor when this dude comes up to me and is like, “holy shit RICO!!!!! I haven’t seen you in ages!!!! How ya doin,’ buddy!?!?!?!”
I turned my head to see who it was and was surprised to see the person’s face. For some reason, I was under the impression that this person had died while I was away at college. In a state of confusion I impulsively responded to him with, “hey man, I thought you died?” He perceived this statement as a joke at first and was like, “ahh RICO!!! You’ve always been a goofy fucker!!! Hell, remember that time we caught that flat-head catfish and you kissed it on the lips?! Omg, you are crazy, Rico!!!”
I thought to myself, “I went FISHING with this dude? I am not even 100% sure who this freaking guy is!!!??!!” Immediately following this thought, and without thinking about how what I was about to say could be perceived, I responded with, “no seriously dude. I seriously thought that you were dead, dude. I seriously heard that somewhere. I heard….that you died, man.”
The dude became quiet and his expression shifted from being excited to see me to appearing extremely sad or as if his feelings were hurt. He responded solemnly with, “that’s weird, Rico.” I replied, “well it’s good to see you man, considering I thought you were dead and all, I mean, this makes my night better knowing that you are alive and well. Ya know what I mean, dude?”
I didn’t realize how hurtful my words were to the dude until he said something that made me feel so awful that I wanted to crawl into the hole I thought had been dug for him.
Sadly, as if he looked capable of breaking down and crying at any moment, he said to me, “well, if I had died, I would have thought you would have been one of the first ones at my funeral. In fact, I thought you would be a pall bearer.”
“Oh shit,” I thought. It totally didn’t occur to me that this guy who obviously thinks the world of me would perceive that comment the way he did. Hell, with the mere sight of my face, the dude appears as if he is so excited that he wants to whip it out and start jerking his Gerkin on the spot.
I felt awful and resorted to doing the only thing I could to get my ass out of this cringe-infested, awkward situation… I lied my ass off. Fueled by desperation and good-intentioned fabrication/deceit, I blurted, “dude I looked all over for your funeral!!! I even drove two and a half hours home from college to attend, but I couldn’t find it anywhere, dude!!!! I checked every church in the county and I couldn’t find shit!!! THIS….EXPLAINS…EVERYTHING!!!! Now I know why I couldn’t find your funeral anywhere, and it’s because your actually alive dude!!! Thank goodness!!! I was freaking scared, man!!! I was crying for days. It SUCKED, man.”
Douche move? Maybe. I don’t like having to resort to lying about anything, but to my defense, I was literally lying to the dude to make him feel better…so it’s not THAT douchey, is it?
The dude bought my story. He lightened up a bit and was like, “well at least you tried your best, man! And I want you to know right now, that if I really do die, I want you to be a pall bearer!!!” I responded with, “ok dude” while simultaneously thinking to myself, “what the hell is this guy’s name again? I seriously went FISHING with him???” I believed him for his story sounded consistent. Back in my late teens/early 20’s, I did make out with a few flat-head catfish in desperate attempts to achieve cheap laughs from my peers. In fact, I did this, the first night I met my wife…she thought it was hilarious. I responded to his request saying, “I appreciate that man and I’m honored, but let’s just hope you don‘t die….again.” “Haha….ohhhhh RICO!!!! Goofy bastard!” he said.
For the remainder of the night, I couldn’t get this out of my head and felt like a greasy scrotum pouch. Here is this freaking guy who I consider to be a mere acquaintance of mine to the point where I was having a difficult time remembering his name. And this dude INSISTED that I be a pall bearer at his funeral someday despite me making it obvious that I didn’t attend his funeral when I thought he died a year or so earlier. (SHUDDERS)