Tag Archives: Andre

I sent a friend request to Andre

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, about positivity, about being positive and staying positive and doing and thinking positive things. It’s been a journey, a real journey, deep within, I’m accessing like universal things here, about humanity, about positivity, words like oneness and the universe and consciousness. It’s a real spiritual awakening here, and so it came to me, not really like an epiphany, because it wasn’t just one thing, but a lot of epiphanies, not little epiphanies, but big epiphanies, one after the other, and so everything’s constantly changing.

And so I thought about Andre. We kept butting heads, reaching out, pulling back, ultimately it got to the point where we lost all contact with each other. Our friendship was all but destroyed, almost like it never existed in the first place. But it did exist, I think, and so as I continued deeper and deeper on my spiritual cosmic journey of universal self-discovery, I felt like there was something holding me back, preventing me from achieving that real oneness. It was Andre.

I resolved to make things right between us, to absolve the stain from our shared history, make true amends. I sent him a friend request on Facebook. I was the one who severed that digital tie months ago. We had this botched fishing trip and when I got home I removed him from my friend list that night.

But a day passed. And then another day. And Andre didn’t accept. I sent him a text message, “Yo, u get my friend request?” with no response. I tried clicking on his profile, but only very limited information was available to non-friends. So I asked our shared friends, a group that, to be honest, I’d kind of lost touch with over the past year. I really just stopped taking most phone calls from those guys. I didn’t want it to be weird, if the both of us showed up, Andre and me, ruining everybody else’s good time.

My friend Tony filled me in, told me that Andre joined the Air Force, that he left like six months ago. They had a big party, this huge send off. Was I even invited? I could feel my grip on the positivity starting to slip. “But hey,” Tony told me, “He’s coming back earlier than expected. He got wounded, and so he had to be discharged. We’re all having a huge welcome home party this Thursday. You should come. Nobody’s seen you in forever.”

I felt like a huge dick, like I’d alienated all of my friends, like I’ve been spending so much time on my positivity training that I had totally lost touch with everybody. And yeah, I wasn’t on speaking terms with Andre, but I would have come to his send off. Come on, they should have reached out; I would have been there for him.

I showed up on Thursday and everybody was huddled around this one stool by the bar. I only saw the top of Andre’s head because he was sitting down. All of these crazy thoughts went through my head, like what were the extent of Andre’s injuries? Did he have all of his limbs? Would he still recognize me?

But then he got up off the stool, like stood up by himself, and he turned around to order another drink. That’s when we made eye contact. I went up to him, I told him, “Hey man, sorry it’s been so long. I sent you a Facebook friend request.”

“Thanks man,” he said. That was it, which was good, because normally he’d say something like, “That’s big of you,” and whatever, we’ve always, or I’ve always had this who’s-the-bigger-person complex, but it’s all silly, it doesn’t matter. This guy’s a vet now, he’s totally the bigger person.

And so I threw in a, “Thanks for your service Andre,” and he kind of shrugged, “You know, just trying to do my part,” and he just sort of looked down at his shoes. “So what happened?” I asked, “Why’d you get sent home?” and he looked up and said, “My injury.” I was like, “Yeah, is it bad? Did you get wounded in a conflict?”

He shook his head, “No, I was just getting all of this back pain during training, so before we got shipped out, they sent me home.” Just then our friend Hank, he shouted out to the whole bar, “Hey let’s welcome back our good friend Andre, a real American hero!” and everybody started cheering. Andre did a casual salute to the bar and everyone went nuts.

“So,” I tried to bring him back to our conversation, “you never even really went?” “No, I went, I just, you know, I’m injured.”

“Three cheers for Andre!”

“Hip hip, hooray!”

And I felt myself drifting slightly from my spiritual center, and I was about to say something, I had that look on my face, like, are you serious? And you’re going to stand here and take this hero’s welcome? I didn’t say it, but I didn’t have to, because, like I said, I was making that kind of weird skeptical face.

“Well what about the friend request? Are you going to accept it?” and he said, “OK, sure,” and he took out his phone right there and accepted it, but when he exited the Facebook app, right before he put his phone away, I looked toward his text message notifications, and I wanted to check his messages, to see if he ignored that text message I sent him, so I said, “Do you mind if I borrow your phone for a second?” and he just said, “What? Uh, hold on, I have to go to the bathroom,” and when he came back he didn’t mention the phone thing, didn’t mention the text message.

The rest of the night went by without incident. When I got home, I went onto Facebook and Andre was back on my news feed. He wrote, “Glad to be home! Thanks everybody for coming out! War is hell!” and like three of our friends responded, stuff like, “USA! USA! USA!”

Andre and me on a boat

Andre and I, we went on a fishing trip last weekend, just the two of us. We hadn’t spoken since his grandmother’s funeral. I guess he needed time to grieve. Things had just gotten really bad between us, it was like every time we got together we’d start to bicker, things would escalate, slowly, steadily, until one of us lost our cool and, you know, that would be it, we wouldn’t speak again for weeks, months.

It must have gotten weird with our extended group of friends, because my buddy Cliff told me, “Hey Rob, look Andre wants to make amends, but he’s really nervous, with everything that’s gone down. Anyway, he wanted me to invite you upstate, a nice little fishing trip, you guys can like, you know, rekindle your friendship.”

And I thought, wow, that’s pretty deep. But I only thought that for a second. Because then another thought replaced that first thought, and that new thought was this: no way Andre sent Cliff over to invite me upstate. It’s probably the larger group of friends, all of them deciding that they need us to settle things, to make it easier for the whole group to hang out, and so they drew straws and Cliff got picked to come to me, telling me Andre sent the invite, and then he’d go to Andre, and say that I sent the invite.

Everybody’s seen this episode before. We’d be sitting on that little fishing boat, just the two of us in the middle of some big lake. And we’d both be fishing at opposite ends of the boat, not looking at each other, not saying anything, both of us with really grumpy looking expressions on our face. And finally, just as the silence becomes too unbearable, we’d both say simultaneously, “Well aren’t you going to apologize? What? Me? You! Why did you even invite me on this fishing trip? What? Me invite you? You invited me!”

And classic Andre, he always has this way of turning every situation to his advantage. Regardless of how clever I think I am, how I’m usually able to sweet talk my way out of any situation, Andre always manages to get in my head, his verbal jumping jacks. So I figured, I see where this is going, I might as well try to embrace the deception. Andre thinks I’m setting this whole thing up, well, at least one of us will know the truth, one of us will have the upper hand.

I’m talking about me, obviously, with the upper hand. That was my plan anyway. We got on the boat, I let him stew for a little bit, and finally I broke the silence with, “Andre, look, I brought you up here because, well, this is kind of hard for me to say, but I wanted to apologize.” And I really had to stop myself from throwing in my customary, “because I wanted to be the bigger person,” because even though it’s true, even though I was being the bigger person, that’s how these things usually unfold. I figure, this time, actions, not words. Or, not actions exactly, but more subtle words. More clever. Cleverer. I know I’m the bigger person. So I don’t have to go flaunting it.

“What are you talking about,” Andre shot back, “I sent Cliff over to you because you never answer my calls. I set this whole trip up.” Which sounded like a bunch of baloney. I always take Andre’s calls. I always take all of my phone calls. Andre just wanted to get Cliff involved, to get everybody involved, to show off, to show me up, and now I was getting upset, and I wasn’t even thinking this stuff in my head anymore, I was saying it out loud, “You just wanted the rest of the group to think you’re being the bigger person, that you’re the one always making amends. At least I showed up to your grandma’s funeral. You didn’t even call me when my grandma died!”

Which wasn’t true. Andre totally came to my grandma’s funeral. I didn’t even know why I said that, it was because I was so angry I guess. And Andre didn’t say anything either. I guess he knew that, at that point anyway, it was stupid to even try to say anything else. Because who knew what I was capable of saying next?

But the worst part was, the whole me telling him that I wanted to apologize, that was only part one of my plan. After we had made amends, I wanted us to have a little laugh, something funny, funny but natural, like an organic, bonding type of laugh. So I bought this magnetic fishhook. The idea is to use the magnetic fishhook to attract your friend’s fishhook, and then you start reeling it in, slowly. Your friend thinks he has a bite and starts pulling, and you keep fighting it out for a while, until you realize that your hooks are hooked together, and that was supposed to be the organic laugh, we’d have made amends, and then we’d see the hooks, and it was supposed to be like, look, we’re hooked together, and we would have laughed and laughed and realized how silly we were being.

But nothing was happening, it wasn’t attracting. So I kept reeling in and casting out again, really close to the boat, over and over again, getting more and more frustrated. And then I turned to Andre and he was doing the same thing, in and out, over and over again, and I was like, wait a second. I looked at his back pocket, sticking out was the same packaging, the same, “Magnetic Trick Fishhook” wrapper, the hooks must have been repelling each other. And I was thinking, Jesus Andre, you unoriginal jerk, you can’t just let me have one trick fishhook gag? You really just can’t let me have one real, genuine moment, can you?

My friend’s grandmother just died

Andre’s grandmother just died. We hadn’t spoken in months, but when I heard the news, I really felt like I should maybe reach out, try to offer my condolences. I didn’t want to call him up, because we always have this tendency to play phone tag and then get in fights. None of that’s really important. Not now. I figured, OK, I’ll just go to the wake. I’ll just show up and be there for him.

So I get there and there are tons of people. I’m worried that Andre’s not going to see me. And I’m not wasting a whole night at a funeral home for some lady that I’ve never even met before if Andre’s not going to know that I’m there, that I’m there for him. So I tried to grab his attention while I was on line to view the casket. I was like, “Hey! Andre! Hey!” and he looked over and kind of lifted his head in recognition, and so I thought that he saw me, that he was acknowledging my presence, but right after I stepped out of the line to go over and say hi, some lady walked right up and they shared this long, slow hug. It must have been one of his aunts or something. Was he looking at me? I thought so. Unless he was playing games with me. But I’d let this one slide, this was his night. Whatever makes him feel better, whatever lets him cope.

So then I tried to get back in line, but some other lady started giving me a hard time. “Listen lady,” I was getting really kind of annoyed here, “This isn’t the line for a roller coaster. I was waiting right here, and I thought Andre was calling me over.” And she didn’t even respond, she just looked at me all offended, like I’m the one causing the scene. So I just kept going, “Relax, all right? There’s going to be plenty of time to kneel down in front of that box.”

Still, no response. So I looked to the person behind her, clearly eavesdropping on the whole interaction, and I just kept staring at him, shaking my head in disapproval, like, can you believe this lady? But after I made eye contact with him all of the sudden he looked away, like now he wanted nothing to do with any of this. So I said to him, “What, so now you’re not interested? Don’t tell me you weren’t paying attention.”

And then that guy and the lady behind me, they kind of looked at each other, like it’s me, like I was the problem here. So I looked at both of them and said, “Fine, here you go. Please. I insist. Happy?” and I walked out of line and went to the back. No way would I have been able to stand there without getting into it. And this wasn’t about me, it wasn’t about the line. It was about Andre. It was about his dead grandma.

Still, when I got to the back of the line, I couldn’t stop thinking about those two people, were they whispering to each other? Come on, all I did was get out of the line for a second. What is this a bakery? No, not a bakery. Bakeries give you those numbers. That probably wouldn’t work out too well at a wake.

The lady in front of me at the back of the line was sobbing, really heavy sobbing. At one point she looked to me, like she wanted to maybe start a conversation, like maybe she wanted to put her head on my shoulder. But I wasn’t really feeling it, so I took out my cell phone to kill some time.

Finally, I was at the box. I knelt down. How long do I have to kneel down here for? What am I supposed to be doing? I counted to thirty and then got up. I said hi to Andre’s mom. And then Andre.

“Sorry for your loss.”

“What were praying about?”

“Right now? Just then?”

“Yeah, what did you pray for?”

“Uh, you know, I just prayed that she’s in heaven, that …”

“Of course she’s in heaven. She doesn’t need you to pray for that.”

“Right, right. I just mean that, I hope that she’s happy in heaven.”

“Of course she’s happy. She’s with my grandfather. What’s wrong with you? By the way, real classy of you, getting in a fight with my aunt, using your cell phone at a funeral home.”

So he was calling out to me before, trying to get me out of the line. Wasn’t he?

“Listen Andre, I’m trying to be the bigger person here. Is this some sort of a coping mechanism? Because if that’s the reason, fine, I’ll get past it.”

“It’s not a coping mechanism. You should be a little more respectful.”

“Respectful? Since when can’t you use a cell phone at a funeral home? It was on silent. I wasn’t talking. Look, you’re aunt’s using hers right now.”

“She’s in mourning! She’s allowed to!”

“Well I’m in mourning too. Why do you think I’m here in the first place?”

“You’re not in mourning. You’re just an asshole.”

And so I got really pissed off, and I made a move, like I was going to push him, but I stopped myself, I remembered where we were, I saw his mom standing right next to him. Still, it must have been convincing enough, because he jumped back a little and bumped into some flowers and they all fell over. And I looked around and everybody’s just looking at each other, looking down at the floor, trying not to be a part of any of this all the while shaking their heads in disapproval.

I’m going to get to the bottom of this

Listen, I understand most of you are upset about what went down last week. And while I’ve already offered my sincerest of apologies – they were sincere, I wasn’t being sarcastic, I was just smiling to be friendly – I get now that words alone won’t be enough to make up for what I did, for what I said, for all of those garbage cans thrown down the street. But I’m kind of not sorry, because most of what happened wasn’t my fault, didn’t have anything to do with me at all. Seriously. Which is why I’m announcing a full investigation into what really happened that night.

Fine, yeah, I see where you’re coming from, how my heading the full investigation might be some sort of a conflict of interest. But I was just kidding. I wasn’t really going to investigate myself. No, because I’d just close the case and say, nothing to see here folks. I’m kidding. That was supposed to be a joke, funny. But I’m actually serious here. Which is why I’m announcing right here that I’m naming a five-person committee to select the person who’s going to be in charge of leading the charge into finding out all of those missing details of that crazy night a week ago, like just who ordered thirty-five pizzas to Andre’s house in the middle of the night, the same night he was with his mom in the hospital, the same night he left his phone in his car, or so he says, so he claims, like, what, somebody took the phone out of his car? And the pizza place has his number on record as having ordered those pies? And that’s why they refuse to let him off the hook, even though the hospital logbook shows him as being upstairs with his mom the whole night? This, and all other questions, they’re all going to be sorted out. All of these details. And more details. We’re going to get to the bottom of this.

Well, who else would get to pick who gets to be on the five-person committee? Not even three of them? Two? Couldn’t anybody have an ulterior motive? Yes, I suppose I could have a clear motive, but so could anybody else. So could Andre. Really? They’re burying her tomorrow? So he’s not going to be picking anybody. No, what we really need here is a task force. One task force with one task: to quickly and efficiently select five honorable people who will then get together and choose one even more honorable person to lead this investigation. I’d like to add, also, that once this investigation is underway, and yes, I understand that I shouldn’t be talking about matters under investigation, or matter about to be under investigation, or, you shouldn’t be bringing up topics currently in the process of being about to be under investigation, I’d like to point out that, I didn’t do anything here, I’m just throwing that out here, again, that it would take some sort of a sociopath to pour an entire gallon of spoiled milk into a new gallon container and then put it back in the fridge. And come on, wouldn’t you expect the overwhelming smell of putrid milk to be an obvious enough clue that somebody had pranked your refrigerator?

Yes, true, all entirely beside the point. No, that’s what I mean, irrelevant. No, right, I mean we’ll wait for the investigation. Can’t we just have Bill lead the investigation? I mean, I know he’s one of my good friends, but why do you think we’re so tight? I only pick friends that give it to me straight, that aren’t ever afraid to tell it to me how it really is. Just pick Bill. Yeah he owes me a bunch of money, but that would give him even more of a motive to look for some really incriminating evidence against me, so that way he’d be able to hold it up in front of my face behind closed doors and try to extract from me some blackmail. No I would never pay any blackmail. No, there’s nothing that Bill would ever find anyway. But he would if there were. Come on.

Fine, you know how we’ll get to the bottom of this? I’m officially commissioning a joint case study. We’re all way out of our league here. I think we need to consult with some professionals, people who’ve been through this before, taskforces, investigations, committees. We’ve got to do it and we’ve got to do it right, not just for me. No, I meant not just for Andre, but for me. And for Bill also. He’s been feeling really left out lately guys. I just … yeah, he is a little slow. Well just don’t let him get up in your face like that. Well just get out of there when you see him clearly that agitated. I’m just saying that maybe he wouldn’t get so upset if we let him head an investigation every now and then. Well I feel bad for him. It’s obvious he needs a solid group of friends. No I didn’t bring him in here to intimidate everybody. But yeah, he is kind of intimidating, right? That constantly clenched jaw. Maybe he threw those garbage cans down the street. You ever see him lift stuff up? Just imagine him, picking up a can, full of trash, and spinning it around like four or five times before launching it any direction. Guys, I mean, put me in charge of the investigation. I’m pretty sure it was Bill.

Andre totally ruined my karaoke night

I hadn’t heard from Andre in months. Our last falling out was it, it had to have been it, because we’ve had no contact since. I didn’t want to defriend him on Facebook, because I didn’t want him going around showing everybody how petty I am. But I didn’t want to see him either, so I just completely blocked him. Every once in a while I’d write something and he’d like it, but fuck that guy, that doesn’t count as contact, I guarantee you it’s something meta, like he’s liking it to be ironic, to make fun of me.

One time we were all hanging out and I was talking about how meta some show was, and Andre just calls me out, right in front of everybody, “What does meta mean?” Come on. And then I had to make up some answer, and then somebody else in the group said, “Well, you were right about that show being meta, but that’s not what meta means, so you’re obviously just repeating something you read online.”

Andre totally set me up for that. The rest of that night I tried to act like I wasn’t pissed off, because I’m not going to give anybody that satisfaction, which was why when he came up to me and said, “Hey Rob, are you OK? You look pissed off,” I got super pissed, enraged, and I told Andre to just do me a favor and leave me alone.

And he did. That jerk. I think I need to change my whole group of friends. Everybody’s taking Andre’s side. Two weekends ago I sent everyone a text, “Let’s do karaoke night,” and everybody said, “Sounds great! Let’s do it!” Guess who shows up? I don’t know why I’m even asking, because the answer’s going to be obvious. Andre.

“Who invited that guy?” I asked nobody in particular, but both Dave and Jeff actually answered, they were both like, “Yeah I sent him a text and let him know we were all meeting up.” And they both did it independently. I organized this whole thing. So now Andre walks in and he immediately gives a high-five to Dave and Jeff, and then he comes over to me, like, “What’s up man? What’s good?”

What’s good? Not a lot. Not anymore. I was really working on that song “Ariels” by System of a Down, for karaoke. As soon as we got to the bar I wrote it on the paper, gave it to the DJ. Half an hour, forty-five minutes later, Andre shows up. I didn’t even see him write anything down. Or even go to the bar. He’s there like ten minutes, someone just hands him a Yuengling, and all of the sudden the DJ’s like, “Let’s give it up for Andre!”

And he gets up there and it’s “Chop Suey,” also by System of a Down. And he fucking kills it, the low parts, the high parts, everyone’s going nuts. And now, what, I’m supposed to get up there afterwards and sing a different System of a Down song? One that’s clearly not as difficult? An hour goes by, two hours go by, the DJ doesn’t call my name. Whatever, it’s for the best at this point. This whole night’s been a bust anyway,

Andre’s just standing there, like there’s no beef, like he didn’t intentionally blow my Halloween costume last year. I went up to him and I was like, “Andre, I got the greatest idea for Halloween. You wear a shirt that says ‘Andre’ and I’ll wear one that says, ‘The Giant’,” because I’m so much taller than him, “It’ll be great.”

Because I wasn’t thinking that anybody would really dress up. I didn’t think it would be like a real costume party. Nobody told me anyway. So he shows up to the bar in that black single-strapped singlet, that curly black wig, and everybody’s like, “Andre the Giant!” and I’m just standing there with this stupid “The Giant” t-shirt that doesn’t make any sense. I went up to him and I was like, “What the hell?” and he was like, “Yeah, I didn’t really get what you were talking about. That didn’t make any sense. I thought you just meant Andre the Giant.”

What an asshole. And we’re just standing here, everybody’s having so much fun, everybody’s having such a good time. I was just going to peace out, fuck this shit, fuck this bar, fuck this group of friends, and on my way out the door that DJ comes on the stage, “It’s going to be pretty hard to top ‘Chop Suey,’ but here to give it a shot is Rob with ‘Ariels!’” And I thought, well, maybe I’ll get up there, give it a go, I had been practicing, but nobody clapped or anything, and I think I already made too dramatic of an exit, I think, I don’t know who was paying attention, but I’m guessing everybody saw it, because this bar isn’t really that big.