I was an awkward child. I had gangly long limbs and I was skinny as hell. What I began to realize is that those long limbs allowed me to have leverage when wrestling, so when our Churchill Jr. High School gym class made everyone wrestle for a few months, my friend James and I found an opportunity to test each other mettle.
James was a bragger. He was always boasting about how tough he was and how he always got into fights or how his brothers would and he would watch. This was enough to intimidate everyone, and the fact that he was a straight up rocker with long red hair, leather jacket, dirty jeans, the whole package, it really sold his fighting abilities and experience. We were good friends so even though I never felt threatened by him, I took his fighting abilities at his word. When our teacher told us to pair up to wrestle, we found a welcomed friendly challenge in each other.
My leverage gave me an advantage over his weight, which he could not overcome and after we finished the match, even though I won, he reassured me that if it were a real fight he would have come out on top. I didn’t argue the point because we were friends and I had no doubt that he was right. Either way it is a memory that I cherish to this day. Testing our friendly limits in brotherly sport.
I miss you even with all these years between us. I tell myself that I will stop visiting your grave every year, and every year I find myself not being able to leave you behind. I no longer feel a duty to keep your memory alive, I just enjoy reflecting on my youth that was made richer by your friendship.
I miss and love you.
Life everlasting, world without end.