Saying goodbye to a dear friend who is moving away can almost simulate a mourning of sorts. You know certain things are coming to an end. The daily contacts, the face to face interactions, and a lot of shared experiences will all cease.
When it is one of your dearest friends, the feelings are poignant and no matter how much you put up a brave front, it is sad in many ways.
However, despite the sadness , I am grateful that the experience of this past year has given me a friendship that will last a lifetime. There are only a handful of these kind of friends in my life. These are people who are not brothers by blood but brothers of the heart. In my native Chamorro, the word for “My brother” is ” Chelu-hu”. Aidy Cody Smith is my Chelu-hu.
Who would think this young guy who I met at a Chamber of Commerce of meeting would become one of my closest confidants? He is like a younger brother and has more heart than most people I know. He also has more self confidence than a lot of people ( which I do like to pick on him about in jest). He can get a little cocky in a good humored way.
I was able to share his coming out process and see him enter this new world where he began to navigate his authentic life. We have shared many experiences together and I have been honored that he has trusted me enough to be part of it all. Despite his youth, he has been a real friend to me and has not hesitated to give me his two cents on anything in my life. Yep, no filter at all!
Well, he does talk a lot. I am not sure if that is a Brit thing. Most people are enamored with his Brit accent. After a while of him going on, and on and on…it starts to sound like cackling to me. Ha!
Like brothers we have seen the best and worst of ourselves. We have argued and angered each other. We have supported each other. We have had each other’s back on whom we have chosen to date or laughed out loud at our choices. We also forgave each other quickly and usually end up laughing soon after about it. Loyalty is a given.
He listens well to me, unless he gets a notification from Grindr. Yes, that is his favorite application. He does more blocking then texting though on it. He does not like big noses among other things. His type of men are mostly Bel Ami model looking guys ( mostly Americans) and certain latino types. Sometimes he breaks out of type if he gets really drunk, but regrets it later. He does not like smokers as potential dating or make out partners.
He loves attention but does not like guys manhandling him like he is some play object, well guys that he is not attracted to , at least. Who does, anyway?
We both like to drink. He got me to like Pear Cider beer and Vodka Soda with 4 lemons. We have ended up eating ( too many times), after bar hopping at Orphan Andys or at La Tortilla. Earlier we have satisfied the munchies at the Dancing Pig or the Dim Sum place. We love La Taza Cafe for brunch on weekends.
In business, we have networked together and enjoyed developing business relationships with some of the best in San Francisco. He has been one of the most professional and good connectors I have seen in the business community. We have been to so many networking events. I know many of our mutual colleagues will miss him.
He has let me know that Shepherd’s Pie is to die for , despite my initial bad eating experience with it in the past at some place in Oregon. He insists with royal ire that I was not given a proper one. He does not like Londoners and certain foreigners who have settled in his country ( well the ones who cause trouble). He cusses more than any sailor on any ship in the U.S. Navy. He loves the word that rhymes with “truck.”
I have more rantings in text from him about his daily commute on the MUNI that will fill a book of raunchy humor. It typically makes my day to know he is being tortured on his daily ride. I know I am such a good friend, right?!? < blink, blink>.
When he was a child , he was a child actor in a public television children’s show in the UK. Here is a clip. He is the boy called Joey.
He still is a bit dramatic. I am sure he will end up doing some theater or film someday. Maybe even drag…just kidding, Aidy. Or Maybe not.
He helped the Ducal Court of San Francisco so much this year with float building and actually walked in the pride parade draped in the English flag. He is a hard worker. He did this as a favor to me but he also did it because he genuinely cared about the cause. He also loved the attention.
He loves the nightclubs like Badlands and the Lookout in the Castro. He also likes to hangout at the Toad Hall for drinks.
Along with others , he does not mind sunning out in Dolores Park and enjoying the eye candy. Hell, he loves the eye candy everywhere. Some of my friends, teasingly call him, “A.D.D.” Well, if you ever watch him at a club cruising, he is like a squirrel being distracted from one hot guy to another, like nuts ( no pun intended). Actually , that sounds like every red blooded gay guy in the Castro.
This has been such a hard piece to write and it has been difficult for me to get below the surface to really express how much I am going to miss my friend. I have had the opportunity to meet his sister, to learn more about his father and to chat with his mother. It has given me a better view of Aidy as a person. He is a good son and that has translated to being a good man and ultimately a good friend.
I am going to miss the daily texts to see if I want to go to Happy Hour. I am going to miss the hours I have to wait while he fiddles with his hair or waiting for him to catch the MUNI bus home. I am going to miss taking the cab with him to my street corner before he heads home. I am going to miss enjoying the lines the guys use on him when they hit on him at the bars. I also will miss his quiet commentary to me about them, while I try to control my laughter.
I am going to miss him lecturing me about some guy I took home or me lecturing him about his trysts. I am going to miss our long discussions about life, business and the Universe. I am going to miss his over drenching use of cologne. I am going to miss us gobbling down Cafe Flore’s Mac and Cheese. I am going to miss our code names for people like Shamu and Tomatoe. I am going to miss dancing at Badlands and watching him do his out of sync Brit boogie.
I am going to miss our times with John and Herb on Sundays at the Lookout or with Lance and Rufin out in the town. This is too much and I feel like my heart cannot take one more friend leaving the bay area.
Okay, I was able to take a long break and can now write again.
Miles are not barriers to the strength of a friendship as long as hearts are beating. Aidy, my Chelu-hu, my brother, I am so thankful you are and will always be part of my life. I hope one day you will return as you dream to live in this great city again. However, what I wish most for you is happiness in life, the love of someone who will fill your heart with joy, and health that will give you a long, fulfilling life.
Our mutual “JASP” bond is for life.
Much love, my friend. Safe journey. Great life.