In my last post, I stated how grateful I was to my friends and family, who’ve made my life possible. Since it was Mother’s Day, I focused on women, so for Father’s Day, I’ll concentrate on the men.
The problem with writing about close male friends is that in the modern age, we have become conditioned to believe that any sign of affection between men is also a sign of homosexuality. This is a real problem, since without a few close friends to act as a compass, extremely bad things can happen. This conditioning is quite recent, as can be seen here. Men become estranged from one another, with each fighting his own private battle, totally ignorant of the fact that the man next to him has the same issues.
This is all very sad and, it is also deadly. Studies show that men with more social contacts (friends) live longer and happier lives.
There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will.
Here are the men who have come this far with me and helped mold me (for better or worse!) into the man I am today.
Dirklyn Munnings – ‘Dirks’ is in biblical terms, “a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” which is especially apt since he was originally the best friend of my older brother, Kevin. After Kevin’s death and my return from college we’ve become so close that people often think that we are brothers, nevermind the fact that Dirklyn has six brothers of his own. Dirks is amazingly helpful but also damned annoying so the pleasure of seeing him is always overcome by the urge to curse him, which I do on an almost weekly basis. This fact was included in my Best Man speech at his wedding.
Alex Carey – Alex once tried to convince me that a male walrus needed a baculum (Penis bone) because female walruses were too ugly. His exact words, “Come on, don’t you think a (male) walrus would prefer a cute sea-lion instead.” A 15 minute discussion ensued on walrus/sea-lion relations. Alex also described his financial situation as, “escaping the miry clay.” Our conversations are meandering and nonsensical but also filled with useful information.
He has the unique ability to accurately assess the financial costs (and how best to mitigate them) of romantic relations with women, from first date to marriage and everything in between. It was from him that I learned the finer points of “raising the game“. Alex is of the Masonic Order and his writings on perfecting the craft can be seen here.
P. Elliot Sealy – Gynecologist/obstetrician and one of the angriest, most abrasive people I know. He is also one of the most charming. Elliot even flirts with Aunt Elva. When people ask how we know each other, I tell them he is one of my experiments gone wrong. Actually, he is the nephew of my best childhood friend. Ask a eight-month pregnant woman if Stevie Wonder shaved her? Yup. Compare getting a loan to date rape? (They’ll ‘roofie’ you. You’ll know you’ve been violated, but you won’t be sure how.”) Check. As I said, abrasive, so it is always amusing to walk down the halls of the local hospital with him and see nurses, patients and even other doctors, giving him a smile and a nod of recognition. There are many benefits to having a good friend who is a (competent) doctor, so I guess we’ll stay friends for another 35 years.
Dwayne J. Harrison (Deceased) – ‘Harry’ was the kind of man, that I wanted to be; quiet, steadfast, focused and incredibly smart. Even though we might not talk to each other for months at a time, when we did, it was with the same comfortable familiarity that we had in university. When he died from a heart attack at the age of 43, I cried as much as I did when my brother passed away twenty-six years earlier. Gone but not forgotten.
Maverick Moxey – Yes, Maverick is his real name, and as I always say, “Maverick by name and Maverick by nature” Have you ever noticed that when a TV commercial wishes to convey the symbolism for rugged, hardworking, individualism, there is always a welder/metal worker in the background, (watch truck advertisements to see what I mean) I met Maverick when I was a student at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute studying welding and he was my teacher. In other words, he is not just a welder but a trainer of welders. Profane, hard-drinking, harder partying, and loyal to a fault, few people would believe that he began his working life as an accountant and presently has at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Welding. If Harry was the person to call if I needed a well thought-out, plausible alibi, Maverick would be the person I’d call to hide the body without asking questions.
Joel Reckley and Maxwell McIntosh – When I went to live on Green Turtle Cay, I barely knew the difference
between a hammer and a saw. The only thing I knew how to build was a sandwich. Joel and Max were extremely generous with their time, skills and tools. From them I learnt, how to build hurricane shutters, fix a water pump, fill my rain tank and several other ‘manly’ skills. This experience gave me the confidence to pursue my dream of becoming a welder. Most importantly, I learnt the truism of the phrase, “If you can’t be handsome, then at least be handy.”
Robin Hardy and David McGorrin – Not much to say about my partners in art. My work with them is explained in this post.
Compliments, and recognition of the men in our lives are always in short supply. Which man in your life deserves recognition? Leave your answer in the comment section.