Two Years ago, I got on a plane and took a vacation to visit my cousin Ed and his wife Michelle who had recently moved down to Dallas, Texas. In that short weekend I met a wonderful group of people. One in particular stood out to me. Dave.
On that trip to Texas, I had my first glass of moonshine, my first shot of fireball because there was no saying no to Dave. I learned that very quickly.
Having loved Texas so much I planned to go back in a few months during the summer to look at apartments and a potential job opportunity.
Again, I was lucky enough to spend two weeks down there with this special group of people. My cousin and his wife welcomed me in as did their friends.
I remember Dave for a good chunk of my two weeks there, telling me that I would be crazy not to move down here.
Eventually a couple of months later, I decided I would move down to Texas, try it out and just take a risk. After my big move, the first time I saw Dave his words were “I told you that you’d be back.” He was right.
After having lost my mother in 2013, I also lost some friendships, true friendships. I felt people didn’t know how to be around me, didn’t know what to say, and pitied me. This group of people in Texas just got me. Having had shared with them in different settings the story about my mom, they all just understood. They didn’t pity me, they didn’t look at me differently when they found out and they knew how to keep me smiling and busy.
A good amount of my time down there in Texas was spent with Dave and Marta. They welcomed me with open arms; they constantly included me and invited me to go out with them. I never felt uncomfortable or out of place or like I was third wheeling.
I always looked forward to getting a text from Dave. Some consisted of…
“Sangria. Our place. 4:00.”
“Village Burger Bar. Be there”
“Poolside Sunday fun day. Meet us at the pool”
I also always looked forward to going to Ed and Michelle’s after work. At the time I did not have a washer and dryer so I did wash at Ed and Michelle’s every Thursday. Just about every Thursday I walked in to the house to find Ed and Dave just hanging out. Just about every time they were drunk, half naked, or poolside, fireside, and passing out on the couch.
My favorite story had to be when I arrived at Ed’s house around 5:30. I can see them sitting by the fire-pit as I walked through the door. I walked in and was welcomed by Ed with a “What’s uppp Teacherrrr?” and from Dave with a “What’s up kiddddddddd? Want some fireball?”
We got on the topic of the word “BAE”. A new word everyone was using to refer to their significant other. Ed and Dave having never head of that term asked me what it meant. I first asked them to guess. You can only imagine the guesses that came out of their drunken mouths.
“balls, and ass eater” is just one example.
I eventually told them it meant “before anyone/thing else”
They found this comical and extremely stupid. They started asking each other if they wanted to be their BAE’s. The next five minutes consisted of Ed and Dave looking all googly-eyed at each other, sticking their tongues out, licking their cups and being weird. Telling each other how much they loved each other. This was nothing new to me, I always enjoyed watching this and decided to film it. It is a video I watch back frequently.
Drunk Ed asked Drunk Dave to make him a glass of scotch. There happened to be just a little bit of scotch left. Dave did as he was asked and brought drunk Ed his drink. Drunk Ed was NOT happy. Drunk Ed was insistent that drunk Dave spiked the glass with fireball. As an eye witness, drunk Dave did not spike the drink. Drunk Ed went to make a new drink only to find that there was NO MORE SCOTCH! Drunk Ed went on a rant and Ed was not having this. Dave felt bad and said he would go to Total Wine to get him a new bottle.
There was no way drunk Dave was driving to his favorite spot so I offered to take him. He refused to go in my “toy car” as he called it so he allowed me to drive his car.
“Be careful with my car”
“Watch the bump”
“You’re driving on the floor lights, don’t you hear it?”
Let’s just say I never drove Dave’s car again……..
Because drunk Ed and drunk Dave weren’t drunk enough, Dave bought a bottle of fireball and a giant bottle of scotch to make up for drunk Ed accusing him of spiking his drink.
This ordeal of drunken stupidness continued as more friends started to show up. The boys had planned on going to “the spot” at the Shops at Legacy. They told me I should come and have a drink with all them. I was in my sweats and had no desire to be at a bar. So I offered to drop them off. As they all got out of the car Dave and Ed looked and me and Dave said , “You better go home, change and come meet us.”
As I was driving home I decided I would go home, change, and meet them, as per Dave’s request. We’ll just say it was an interesting night of watching drunken 30 year olds at the bar.
There are countless days and nights that I was able to spend with Dave. Some comical like the story above and some just low key nights. Dave always welcomed me to their apartment, always included me when his friends came to town for the weekend. He tried to set me up with a number of his friends because all he truly wanted was for people to be happy. He looked out for me like a little sister. Most importantly he always kept me laughing hysterically and smiling when I was hurting inside.
Dave was a good guy. He was genuine, selfless, beautiful, funny, kind, generous, happy, intelligent, silly and a friend. There aren’t many people I called a friend after the passing of my mom. But to me, even in just the two and a half years I knew Dave, he was a good friend.
My time in Texas came to an end, I was missing my family in New York and decided to move back and just take it a year at a time. When I told Dave and Marta, they were sad. I spent a lot of time with them before I left. We spent a day balcony and pool hopping, drinking Sangria and just laughing. A lot of the conversation consisted of Dave saying , “You are crazy to move back.” “You are going to go home, be miserable and come back. Just wait, you’ll see.” “Don’t leave, don’t go back to New York.”
My Dear Friend Dave,
You are a beautiful human.
I thank you for your friendship.
I thank you for being you.
I thank you for the laughter.
I thank you for the memories.
I thank you for looking out for me.
I thank you for your service, for your ultimate sacrifice. You are my hero.
When I close my eyes I can summon back your smile and laughter in my mind.
You will live on in my heart.
~ Allissa P., Friend