I don’t have that awesome apartment everyone outside New York thinks everyone in New York has, I started losing my hair at 16 and probably won’t be able to afford to retire. I’m joking really, I actually do have an awesome apartment. Most importantly, I also have a family that loves me and supports me and never let’s me forget the times I’ve really screwed up. My friends are my extended family. Similar to my family, my friends are always there for me, make fun of me, encourage me, encourage me when they shouldn’t, listen, laugh and are equally amazing as my family. I really am surrounded by good people. Unlike my family though, my friends have money to spare. That’s where my mom taught me right. Having good people and good memories are worth more to me than my bank account. I am truly blessed in life. When I look to the future, I’m happy to know I have great people in my life like Gilberto, who will be the guy pouring a beer in my feeding tube while I’m in Hospice.
Gilberto is that guy I got on my side. He points out my faults more than my qualities, makes fun of me when I screw up, let’s me know that I need to invest in teeth whitener, tells me I drink too much coffee and tells me I look much older than my friends that happen to be older than I am. You know what else Gilberto does? Let’s me know he’s become a better person since meeting me, forgives me or helps me when I screw up, buys me tooth whitener, buys me coffee and tells me it’s OK that I’m older. Why these things make me happy? Because I know all this. Him pointing them out do not make them different. I am comfortable in my own skin and he’s comfortable being with me. Gilberto and my best friend Brandi will be next to my bed in Hospice fighting over who has to take care of all my crap when I die.
Brandi: “I don’t want it….you take it!!”
Gilberto: “Bullshit! You’ve known him a lot longer. You take it!!”
If I’m coherent enough I would think, “Who wouldn’t want my pen collection?”
I come from a middle class family, we got by, we had what we had and needed to survive. I grew up riding bikes, everything was homemade, dinner was at 5 and we “ate like a normal goddamn family” and Holiday’s were sacred. To this day I believe I had it so good. Hanging out with Gilberto, to me, what seems just like life in motion is amazing to him. I think it’s beautiful. The “Happy Birthday” Carrot Cake to anyone may seem like, “Yeah, a Birthday cake. That’s what you do for a Birthday.” To Gilberto it means the world. It’s more than a cake to him. To him, it’s love, a celebration of him, friends doing something for someone, going beyond what seems like just another day. This makes me feel like a dick because then I proceed to get drunk for his Birthday and start fights. I’ve had Birthday Cakes from numerous friends and family and thought nothing of it. Gilberto takes no one and no thing for granted. If you cross the street to have a cup of coffee with him, he is over the moon excited. The world could stand to learn from Gilberto. I am learning everyday from the guy. He is a simple guy, loving, caring and never ask for anything in return but a smile and a “thank you”. I’ve witnessed him help the most unappreciative people and he does it with a smile, while I stand on the curb with angry face. There is not enough space, nor time for me tell you what a great guy he is and how lucky I am.
Life is rare, I believe. Very few actually “get it”, seize it and live it. Gilberto “gets it” and is getting me there. Gilberto reminds of a child, he lives in the moment and is happy to be “here”. When I meet up with Gilberto, like everyone else who doesn’t really care, I respectfully ask “How are you?” his response is always, “I’m here with you, I’m happy.” This makes me feel like a dick because I proceed to go into a rampage as to how much I hate my job. The beauty of Gilberto, he smiles, pats my arm and tells me not to stress that “he is here”. Then we laugh and go get drunk, like good Americans.
In conclusion, yes, I am an asshole. I take things for granted, but “Thank You” to Gilberto for saving me and making me a better person and seeing that the simple things in life are worth celebrating. I had an amazing childhood. Other than my brother Rick always holding me down and farting on my head, which is funnier now opposed to back then, I wouldn’t change a thing. Thanks to Gilberto for making my kinda-acting-like-an-adulthood just as amazing!!! Oh and Gilberto, be prepared for what my brother Rick taught me.
“.. I was so lucky, you picked me. My rags turned gold and silver. I could have been somewhere else, you could have passed by….” I was so lucky by Roxette