|Posted on September 14, 2010 at 3:58 PM|
While completing the daily bike circuit yesterday – oh, that’s right; I’m still biking! Not quite ready to join Team Lance but way less likely to join Team Heart Attack either – a song came on the old iPod from Train, “Drops of Jupiter.” That song has a line near the end that always resonates with me. In fact, I played it twice. The line is, “Your best friend always sticking up for you; even when I know you’re wrong.”
That line is just SO powerful. To have someone that you know that has your back; who will stand beside you and go to war, EVEN when they know you’re wrong. After just writing about the lack of loyalty amongst manufacturers and customers lately (found here... ) this song has made me want to talk about some people that do have my back; even when I’m wrong.
You hope that family will be there for you, but more commonly there the first ones to jam the knife in. My cousin, Chris is there for you; well, may not YOU, but for me. (Except for when he is in Iraq being there for the SEALs. Here’s a great guest post Chris wrote for me on silenced weapons.) But when he IS there, he is ALL there. If something ultra dramatic ever went down – kidnapping, stuck in a foreign country, accidentally stumbling into Mob business, forced to participate in a futuristic game show where I’m hunted for prize money – I’m calling Chris. And I *know* he’d come and take care of things. Once when we were in Big Sur, I was unable to swim/climb up this rock that people were jumping off. You had to swim through like 100 yards of freezing water to get to this rock that was super slippery and climb up through a cascade of water, all the while treading water amidst a crowd of people. Anyhow, I got cold and tired, swam back, didn’t climb/jump. So, it is like 11 PM that night and I’m talking with Chris, and I say, “Chris, if I said I really wanted to go back – right now – and do that jump. Would you come?” And he said, “Little (his name for me), if you felt like you needed to go and do that jump right now, I’d say let’s get hiking.” That’s Chris.
My brother, Adam, is another fiercely loyal SOB. In fact, he’s the personification of the Arabic saying, “Me against my brothers; me and my brothers against my cousins; me and my cousins against the world.” Family is amazingly important to Adam, and I know that he – we’ve pretty much stopped battling against each other for the most part – has my back. I also know that Adam would stop what he was doing, walk away from his job, buy a plane ticket, and come if you said, “I really need you.”
Outside of family, I have two other friends who have always been there. (Though, I guess I should include Craig, because if you ever need someone to accompany you on a clandestine (totally not weird, or creepy or stalky) drive past Becky Frodsham’s house in the late ‘80s, I could recommend no better wingman. And there is certainly some comrade-in-arms going on there.)
First is Dan, aka “my friend Dan.” (Apparently even to people who thoroughly know exactly who just-plain Dan is, I repeatedly introduce him as “my friend Dan.” Perhaps it is a bit of subconscious jealous possession as in “I know how cool he is, and, yes, you are going to want to be his friend too, but he is MY friend Dan, and let’s never forget that, shall we?" ) I’ve known Dan the modern equivalent of forever. I met him nearly 30 years ago (Holy crap! Has it been THAT long?!). I can’t think of too many tasks where I’ve made Dan stick up for me even when I’ve been wrong, but I know that he would. On one occasion, Travis (whom we’ll talk about in a bit) provoked a fight at a beach. Apparently it was going to be multiple people against Travis. But Dan stood up, shoulder-to-shoulder with Trav and figured he’d be matching up with the biggest guy standing across from him. Even though Trav was wrong. (I wasn’t there, so not forced to posse up for this skirmish.) Because that’s Dan. I also know he’d fly cross country just to hang out for a weekend. Multiple times. (OK, an Aston Martin may very well have been involved, but even when that was almost falling apart at the last second, Dan was STILL getting on the plane and coming.) Or that when he says you’re always welcome to come by, anytime, he means it. (However, he actually DID quite literally drop me off of a rock face at that same gorge in Big Sur once. The gorge apparently being the crucible where bonds of loyalty and friendship are forged. It started out with, “Grab my hand; don’t worry. I’ll pull you up; I won’t let you go.” And ended with, “You’re pulling us both down! I’ve got to let you go!” )
Finally is Travis. Who, though we’ve mostly drifted apart because of time and distance, remains the embodiment of loyalty. Though Travis was far more likely to actually GET you into trouble in the first place, once you were in, he would stand fast. I could totally picture Travis actually taking the rap for something instead of giving up a friend. Or, “Hey, I don’t think you should do this; but if you DO, I’m gonna be there with you.” Or, far more likely, defending you even when you weren’t around. “Hey, that’s my friend you’re talking about; and I don’t want to hear any of that.”
If you’re lucky, you’ve got family and friends that are always there for you. If not, there’s always the Latin Kings, Traveling Vice Lords or Four Corner Hustlers. (Come on, Bloods and Crips are so played out!)