Tag Archives: best friends

Happy birthday to my best friend, Gelo

I want to dedicate this post to my best friend, Gelo. Happy birthday, buddy. I hope this is the best birthday you’ve ever had in your life. I hope that it’s the best birthday that anybody’s ever had. If you could somehow combine all of the greatest birthdays ever experienced by any human being who’s ever lived, I’d give anything for your birthday this year to make that hypothetical super birthday seem like a day stuck in the waiting room at the dentist, a visit where you have to get all of your wisdom teeth removed, and unfortunately you’ve got an allergy to Novocain and laughing gas, and so the oral surgeon is just like, “Well, sorry, but they’ve got to come out one way or another.”


Gelo is my best friend. And that’s not a term I throw around lightly. He’s the bartender at the restaurant where I wait tables. I know that I have a tendency to exaggerate, sometimes, but I’m not even kidding you, not only is Gelo the best bartender in the restaurant, I’m pretty sure  the best bartender in New York City. This guy makes picture perfect cocktails sometimes when he’s not even paying attention. There’s a little printer that sits at the end of the bar, it spits out drink orders as the waiters and waitresses punch them into the computer. It can’t even keep up with Gelo. It’s like, before it even has a chance to finish printing the ticket, bam, the cocktail is already made, perfectly garnished, just exactly the right amount of ice.

For real, I’ve actually had customers get up and walk out of the restaurant when they found out that Gelo wasn’t working that particular night. One time this guy ordered a Manhattan, and after he took the first sip, he made this really pained face. Once he finished choking it down, he looked up at me in disgust, “Where’s Gelo? Who made this? Was it Sal?” And yeah, it was Sal. I pointed over to the bar and Sal made a friendly waving gesture. And please, don’t get me wrong, Sal’s a great bartender. It’s just that, Gelo’s the best bartender. He’s so far ahead of his colleagues in both proficiency and speed that even the second best bartender looks like he’s never learned to make a gin and tonic by comparison.

But he’s not just the world’s greatest mixologist, he’s also the best friend I’ve ever had. I was actually a little surprised when I found out that his birthday was today, because I’d always just kind of assumed that we were secretly long lost twins separated at birth. It’s the only way to really describe the bond that we share. Like, when I say best friends, yes, I mean it, he’s my best friend. But the English language doesn’t do justice in providing words even remotely capable of describing our connection. Maybe we’re not actual twins, but we’re definitely soul twins. Like we have twin souls. Soul twins can have different birthdays, I’m pretty sure. Sometimes I wonder if we’re not sharing one soul … you know what? It doesn’t even matter.

What matters is, Gelo, I’m seriously so lucky to have you as a best friend. The other night at work, it was really busy, I mean, the rest of us were busy, Gelo’s never busy, because he’s so good at his job. In fact, if you look at him sometimes, you might think, why is that guy the only one not running around like a crazy person? It’s because he’s already made all of the drinks. He does an entire team’s worth of work in like ten minutes. Anyway, he calls me over, I’m in the weeds, I’m having a tough time, and he hands me a cup, “Hey man, enjoy.”

It was a milkshake. I don’t even know how he had time to make me a milkshake, because yes, we have ice cream, but there’s no blender. Did he blend it by hand? Or did he sneak in a really tiny immersion blender? And it was the best milkshake I’ve ever had in my life. One sip, and time seemed to slow down around me. Suddenly, I didn’t feel trapped under a list of twenty-five things I needed to do at the same time. I just quickly organized my tasks and executed them without getting stressed out. Gelo, thanks man, that milkshake was so fucking delicious. If only I could be drinking it right now, but it’s OK, because knowing that I’ll get to carry around that memory, that first sip of the tastiest vanilla milkshake anybody’s ever had, it’s like, I’m content, happy in the knowledge that our friendship is the best best friendship anybody’s ever had. I hope you get everything you ever wanted for your birthday this year. And then I hope you look at the giftwrap, it’ll say, “To Gelo, You’re my best goddamn friend in the world. From, Rob.”

My best friend Craig

I want to take a minute and give a big shout out to my best friend. Craig, you’re the greatest. I’ve never felt closer to anybody else in my life. And even though you took that job in Cincinnati a year and a half ago and, yeah, we haven’t really seen as much of each other as we used to, I just want to let you know that, Craig, I hold our friendship in a very special place in my heart. And I guard that special place. It’s protected. Because you’re a special guy. Craig, you’re my best friend.


Even though you got married last month, even though I wasn’t invited to the wedding, that’s cool Craig, and yes, I completely understand. Not every wedding is a big deal, sometimes it’s nice to have a more intimate ceremony, I get it. And the bachelor party that you had in Vegas a few weeks before? It’s cool man, you were probably just looking out for me, you know how much I hate flying, right, and gambling. It’s not that I hate it, I just suck at it, and so you actually did me a huge favor, saved me from losing my rent money at the blackjack table. So thanks dude, you’re a good friend. You’re the best.

And no, I wasn’t stalking you on Facebook, so I’m sorry if this is all coming off as a little intrusive. But I was talking to Phil a while back and he mentioned something like, “I bet you can’t wait for Vegas, right?” and I was like, “Vegas?” and he was like, “Oh, you know what? I don’t know what I mean … I meant … I mean … weren’t you going to Vegas? Maybe that was someone else. Maybe that was … uh … I forgot what I was going to say.”

And I let it go, I mean, I could tell that something was up, but I didn’t want to get in his face. And even though I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling, like it was so obvious that Phil thought I had been included in something that I clearly wasn’t a part of. So when everyone was out to lunch I started snooping around the office and, you remember Carl, right? I think you guys worked together for a little while after college, and then I started working with Carl, I forgot how it even came up, but yeah, we were talking one time about our mutual acquaintance.

Yeah, that’s how it came up, it’s just coming back to me now. I had been working here for a few months and one day everyone was out for drinks after work. And I’ve never really understood what the protocol is, like what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate for friend requesting your coworkers. Like, I see you guys every day, obviously I think we should be friends on Facebook. But does it come across as too strong if one day I’m just going down the list requesting coworker after coworker?

So I was out after work that one day and Carl was on his phone, I saw him scrolling through his News Feed and I said, “Hey man, you’re on Facebook?” like it was a question, even though it was a stupid question, of course he’s on Facebook, of course I’m looking at his cell phone screen over his shoulder, I should’ve just kept pretending to mind my own business. But I whipped out my cell phone and I was like, “Friend request sent!” totally over the top, but in a self-aware way. Maybe it was too self-aware. Maybe that’s why I never saw Carl out for drinks after that.

Anyway, yes, now that I’m saying this all out loud, it does seem a little crazy, me remembering the one mutual Facebook friend Carl and I had in common, you. Me, waiting for Carl to go on his lunch break, then going over to his computer and searching your name under his Facebook account, confirming what I already kind of knew to be true, that you did the Vegas bachelor party thing, that I wasn’t invited, that for some reason you changed your privacy settings to deny people like me from seeing what was going on while allowing people like Carl to see status updates and photos from the trip on his News Feed.

Craig, it’s cool, man, you’re my best friend. And yeah, sometimes you go through huge chunks of time without talking to your best friend. I mean, this is a big planet, and life has a way of pulling us in many different directions. So it’s not totally unreasonable for two best friends to go a couple of years without speaking or answering each other’s phone calls or returning any of each other’s text messages. Did you get a new phone number? Like a Cincinnati area code?

It’s cool dude, next time you’re in New York, give me a shout, OK, I’ll buy you a beer, we can catch up on old times. Did I tell you that Diane and I are expecting our second kid? Yeah man, it’s going to be a boy. I was thinking about naming him Craig, after you, after my best friend. Would you be the godfather? I mean, you only have to be as involved in little Craig’s life as you want to, but if you did want to, I mean, you could be like as into his life as possible. You could be like his second dad. Hey, if anything happens to Diane or me, would it be cool if I listed you as the guy that gets to raise the boys? No pressure, if you say no, that’s no, that’s cool. But just think about it. And if you and … what was her name, your new wife? I’m really anxious to meet her. But if you guys have kids and you want to do the same, Diane and I would be more than happy to … I’m getting carried away.

But I miss you man. I wish some of those jobs that I applied to in Cincinnati would at least give me a call back. It’s like, you don’t understand man, I’ve applied for everything. I went to Cincinnati craigslist and I sent my resume out to pretty much every listing available. Is there anything open by you? Just let me know.

Craig, I love you dude. I hope we get in touch soon. Man I hope you read this and you give me a call. Don’t worry if it’s like five years from now, you stumble across this and you think, shit, it’s probably too late now to reach out. It’s not too late. I don’t care if it’s like five, ten, thirty years from now, just give me a ring man, it’ll be like we never lost touch. Because it won’t be weird or awkward, it’ll just be two best friends, hanging out, catching up on old times, shooting the shit.

Seriously, Craig, dude, give me a call man. For real.

Siamese Friends

I have this great idea for a TV show, it’s called Siamese Friends, it’s about two friends that get in a terrible car accident. That’s going to play in the intro, every episode, just so you can really get a sense of how bad this crash was. Maybe both cars will explode, I have no idea, I’ll leave that up to the director, but in my script, that’s going to be a stage direction, or a note, “Bad car wreck!”


And then they’ll both wake up in the hospital, you won’t really see them, the camera will be positioned behind their beds, staring at the attending doctor. He’ll go into this speech, “Boys, I want to tell you how incredibly lucky you two are just to be alive. In my history as a medical practitioner, I’ve never seen two human beings sustain the kinds of injuries you two did.”

The camera will start to swing around, we’ll see the friends, they’ll be relieved. But then they’ll start to squirm a little. The doctor will continue, “However, when the paramedics brought you in, we had to operate extremely quickly. Both of your lives were on the line, and so the lead surgeon stitched you together, figuring that your tattered bodies might stand a better chance at survival if they were sewn together.”

“And it worked,” he’d continue, “But I’m afraid the process is completely irreversible. You’re both sharing several major organs, and your circulatory systems are almost totally fused.” And he’d continue on like that for a while, giving all sorts of medical-sounding explanations as to why they’re going to have to exist in this current state, a pair of conjoined friends.

Naturally, both of the guys are going to be devastated. Their lives are going to be forever altered. But that’s going to be the whole show. They’ll get an apartment together, and each week we’ll watch them try to pick up the pieces of something resembling a normal life.

Like maybe they’ll have two totally different jobs. One of them will be a really rich and powerful stockbroker, but the other guy might only work as a restaurant busboy. And so, thinking that they’ll still be able to sort of manage two separate lives, they’ll each take a stab at running two careers at the same time. That episode will culminate with the broker trying to conduct a business lunch at the same restaurant where the other friend happens to work. And so it’ll be back and forth, negotiating deals while clearing plates and pouring fresh water.

And then later that summer at the corporate picnic, they’ll both get in a really competitive potato sack race, or a three-legged race, I haven’t really planned out the specifics of where exactly these two guys are going to be stitched together. I guess it all depends on how much of a budget I’ll be working with, like if I’m operating on a shoestring, I guess I could just get an oversized sweatshirt and have them both fit inside. But if I have the special effects department at my disposal, I could CGI three legs, one torso, probably any type of attachment.

I don’t know why any of the networks haven’t responded to my emails. I’ve been watching TV lately and I think I speak for most everyone when I say that I’m not especially impressed with the fall lineup. The only thing that NBC had going for it was that show about the wheelchair cop, but that got cancelled after only two episodes. Come on, don’t you guys want to make some great TV? Let’s make Siamese Friends a reality.

Maybe sometime late in season seven, some foreign doctor will visit them, he’ll say that he has a new experimental surgery he wants to try out, “I can make you two separate again!” And they’ll consider it, at first glance, it’ll be everything that they’d ever hoped for. But by the end of that episode, they’ll realize that they love being attached, that what’s better than never being an arm’s length away from your best friend? So they’ll choose to stay conjoined. And that’ll be the last episode. Somebody’s got to help me make this happen. We’ll be rich.