I have a confession. I’m not fully responsible for all the content of this blog. Don’t get me wrong, the words are all mine, no one else’s…. it’s just the subject matter I can’t claim as all my own. By now you’ve noticed that most of my stories have some sort of inspiration behind them. My paralysis, past experiences, depression, friendships, family and even some of you play a major role in the tales I tell. I would like you to meet someone special whose voice can still be heard indirectly through mine with everything I write. Everyone, say hello to Brittany.
Brittany was my girlfriend, best friend, and roommate all wrapped into one for most of college. We met the summer after my freshman year when I got a job at, get this, The Gap. Hey, I was broke, and it was the only place hiring. With a combination of model good looks, a sassy/sarcastic sense of humor and a down-for-anything attitude, she had me smitten from the first time we folded down the men’s polo section of the store, and we were nearly inseparable for the three years that followed. In that relatively short span, we experienced more than most couples do in 30 years.
The highs were high, sharing lots of love, tons of laughs and two crappy apartments. We went to a few concerts, watched a handful of thunderstorms and rented more movies than you’ll see in your life. There were journeys to faraway exotic lands like… Iowa, and… okay, just Iowa. She suffered through three years of my weight cutting and monotonous wrestling tournaments, and I managed to survive the occasional "modeling session" for her photography classes. I taught her to wakeboard, and she introduced me to Kevin Smith movies, Counting Crows, Elliott Smith, Reel Big Fish and peanut butter and butter sandwiches.
There were very few lows, but we faced more pain and loss than some ever do. In the span of a weekend, we found our strength, character and relationship tested by having to endure the single most painful moment of our lives one day, only to awaken to the chaos that was September 11th the very next morning. Our paths crossed when we were just teenagers and when they parted, we were far more grown-up than we would have ever imagined we could be.
Fortunately, those paths eventually crossed once more, and I’m proud to call her one of my very best friends. Now she’s a happily married mother of two amazing baby girls, and I have her to thank for helping me become the man I am today. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have a healthy appreciation of art, music and movies. And that smart ass alter ego of mine? That’s her, for sure. But most importantly, without those hard times we faced, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the special ones I have in my life like I do. I wouldn’t have a fraction of the character and strength you all see and seem to admire. I know for a fact that these clear perspectives on life and love that I’ve shared through this web site could not have developed without her.
So, in hindsight, it’s a good thing The Crap…er, Gap hired me that summer seven years ago. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have met Brit… and there’s a good chance this blog may have never come to life. Thanks, b. For everything.
(crappy apartment numero uno, circa 2001)