There is no subject too scary or taboo to be discussed at home with my roommate/best friend Robert. Religion, politics, sex, death, sports, cartoons…the list goes on and on as we pick at each other’s brain trying to gain better insight on the way we perceive this complex world. One conversation we have had, for no particular reason, is how to celebrate our lives when we pass away. In every conversation we pretty much try to pin point what are the things that we do that make us happy. My best friend Robert and I can pretty much identify the things in life that would make us laugh, that will petrify us or that will make us choke up.
I know that a good sports movie will make him tear up as much as he knows that my weakness is to see kids and seniors suffering. He understands my fascination with Funyuns and donkeys as much as I understand his love for the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Robert knows I am petrified of clowns and rats as much as he is terrified of being in the presence of an octopus, but has a soft spot for penguins. Robert shakes his head at my coffee and cigarette addiction while I struggle to accept the fact that he is of Cuban blood and does not drink coffee…it must confuse his family as well.
In our conversations we aren’t really addressing how to celebrate our lives upon death as much as we are inadvertently expanding on the past 10 years of a friendship that started in a community college newspaper. From driving from San Diego to L.A. in my 1987 Honda Accord, to buying groceries in my current 2005 Nissan Sentra, Robert and I have discussed anything and everything and it never gets old. In the past eight years living together we’ve both cried when the Dodgers have been ousted from the playoffs; he and I have both foolishly put all of our hopes into the Dolphins and the Eagles, respectively, into winning the Super Bowl. We have nursed hangovers; we have driven two hours for tacos and talked our way out of being shaken down by Tijuana police. We have sat next to each other speechless when grief has overwhelmed our souls and shared the bubble gum one of us was chewing since we had no more left and a few hours left on our shift.
If life has been this fun and unpredictable living with my best friend Robert for the past eight years, I can hardly wait to see what sort of shenanigans we get into by the time we are old men.