He strutted alongside his cousin (who used to be a teacher at the university at that time), trying to look brave, and pulling it off. I knew it then that in my tenure at this dreadful institute, I was gonna pick him as my best friend. Weird how that happens, right? You become friends with another person in the most sporadic manner: You like Madonna? I like Madonna! Cool, we’ll hang out from now. I am yours and you are mine. Except, in our case, it wasn’t mutual love for Madonna (that shit’s so twentieth century, though I suspect Madonna will agelessly sing her way to the 22nd century and still pull it off; it’s an Illuminati scandal!) that pulled us close. It was our mutual disdain for the mainstream; the kids who dressed flagrantly, spoke of basic shit like the latest Bollywood movies, ogled at girls, played lame music, and other shit. Yeah. The foundation of our friendship was hate. Somehow, these friendships are stronger than your average ones.

Anyhoo. It’s boy’s birthday today. We agreed we’d refer to each other as boy from now on. Sounds hip. Sounds different. Happy birthday you crazy, schizoid motherfucker! And I mean every word, and of course, I mean it as a compliment.

Boy likes to game, boy likes girls, boy likes going on long journeys to Mountains and mountain passes, boy likes to take pictures of landscapes, boy likes to fine dine, watch movies at the cinema, boy likes to think that all his classfellows are his haters, and to some extent, I think boy is right.

Boy is hot. If I were gay, I’d tap that ass.

Boy’s been at my side like Sam’s been at Frodo’s, like Ron’s been at Harry’s, and…. I’ve run out of iconic friendships.

Boy has had a tough life, a rough life, but I think that it’s been a crucible which will yet make a diamond out of him. I can already see the glints shining in there.

Boy has had many fights with me, but like Hworang and Jinn, boy and I patch up after a good thrashing. It’s 5 for 5 right now. Without good fights and disagreements, a friendship is not a friendship. At least not an honest one. Baeshel, my homegirl, has had more fights with me than boy has, and that friendship is set in stone that went so deep underground for so long they’re practically fossils now. That which is strong does not wither. Deep roots are not touched by the frost. All that is gold does not glitter, some who wander are lost, and have hypothermia.

Space ducks are the sapplings of the cumulonimbi, dancing in the sky, flirting with asteroids and space rubble, looking at the serpent in his two eyes; one is the moon, the other is the sun, and he slithers, revolving the planets with him, spinning them, circulating them.

Boy does not know what I am talking about. Neither do I. Nor does Baeshel. We’re the lost wanderers, but we’re deep, we’re the non glittery gold, we’re that what is old.  And boy’s 23 years old now. Happy birthday boy.