Since the very first minutes I met J, he has proudly proclaimed his advanced years as testament to the wisdom he has to offer me. More years, more wisdom I suppose.
On that first night I met him, I was skeptical of his suntan and his his SoCal wit and his blonde streaks (all-natural of course. The OC sun). I was skeptical of all of my roommates, of moving to this strange city where the language felt so foreign I struggled to order coffee. At first, as these stories go, we fought. We still fight. But fighting with J made me less homesick. And in truth, there is something quite comforting about someone who knows all of the little details that will make you angry enough to yell or rage or just give up and laugh. There is something quite comforting, even, when someone knows you well enough that he will write you into vocabulary quizzes for the students you share. “Miss, they’ll say. “Mr. S says you never clean your bathroom and he always has to do it for you.” And you’re not sure whether to poison his dinner or laugh. There are some amazing things about J. A few months ago I told you how he forces me to tell the truth. He forces me to find humour when I want to be devastated. He always offers to do the dishes or take out the garbage. (okay. The last part is a lie). But in all truth, his generosity is limitless and shows itself in quiet and hidden ways. He is careful. He doesn’t want us to know this soft side of him, beneath the California blonde and the very hip t-shirts and the dozens of shoes—this side that I know I can rely upon, whatever it is I need. I’m just have to tell you its there.
My other favorite thing about J is his photo face. He poses. O yes he does.
Even when he's trying to make you think he's just being casual.
That’s why I love this picture. Sometimes at 244 we could all let our guard down and it was just straight up funny.
Happy Birthday, James.