No, this post is not about me. I am a nice guy, generally, in the sense that I try to be honest and open and take the high road and try not to destroy people who deserve it. But I’m also vicious to people who attack my friends, who show disloyalty, and who have shown a lack of character. So, no, this is not about me. I’m the guy who will defend his friends no matter what and have no moral compunction with eviscerating anyone else.
This post is about Brent. Brent is one of my oldest friends. We met when we were 9 or 10 and his family just moved into my neighborhood in Ormond Beach. Brent was a quiet chubby kid, and we had a lot of fun, going on adventures in the woods, watching dirty movies, exploring for miles on our bikes, and being obnoxious boys. His parents became a set of surrogate parents, as well, and if I wasn’t home, chances I was at the Dawson household helping myself to their Vernor’s soda and eating beef burritos covered in chocolate syrup.
Sure, we got into fights sometimes, but that’s what happens with boys, but time and time again, Brent has always been there for me. I can count my male friends on one hand, and that’s usually because I tend to identify with women more. I like to talk on the phone and talk about emotions and feelings and just feel more at home with most women than I do with men. Brent (and other friends like James aka Clownzilla) are exceptions to that rule.
When I graduated from college in Virgina, Brent and my friend Mike, another great friend, drove up in Brent’s mom’s van. We partied and they helped me load my stuff into the van for a caravan road trip back to Ormond Beach. When I graduated from law school, Brent flew up to Saint Louis and came to my graduation party and helped me pack my truck for the move to Los Angeles. He was in my wedding, and he’s that guy who will be there for me if I ever need him.
I’ve always felt bad, because he’s never needed me. I went with him when he interviewed for colleges, but other than that, I’ve never been able to be the type of friend to him that he is to me. That’s unusual for me, too, as I’m used to being the one who is always there for my friends, yet who rarely relies on them. Brent is truly a selfless person, and someone who sets an example that anyone should follow. He’s generally quiet and soft-spoken, passionate about the things in life that matter to him, and a fucking fantastic guy.
He’s been single for most of his life, which has always been a shame. He’s financially responsible, owns his own house, had the same job for over a decade, and someone I consider to be objectively attractive, as far as I can tell. I think he’s just been unlucky with the girls he meets, mostly due to the area not being exactly a mecca of outstanding potential in the dating arena. The crazies are out in full force, and he’s managed to dodge a few bullets by ending relationships before he got sucked in too deep.
Brent has recently started dating a new girl, and I got to meet her for the first time a few weeks ago. She has brought about a change in Brent that I’ve never seen. He’s almost giddy and child-like and goofy and sappy. He uses phrases like “totes mcgotes” which is almost like thinking about Clint Eastwood saying it. I don’t know if they’ve said IT (the big IT) to each other, but just from watching them and even from seeing their interaction on Facebook, it’s obvious to me that these two are in love. Her feelings are genuine – our conversation one drunken night about guys like Brent being rare stuck with me days later. And I can tell from the shift in his normal quiet, reserved demeanor, that Brent is feeling a love for someone that he has never felt before.
Why am I posting this online and outing Brent (sorry, bud)? Because I think it’s important for people to see the nice guys in the world and know that they’re worth it. Brent is one of those nice guys – a rare breed who is worth the effort and love of the right woman – and I’m ecstatic for him that he’s finally getting what he deserves. I hope it lasts forever.
I can only hope to live up to his example. I try to be compassionate and generous, and when I am in a relationship, I put my full effort in, but I’m also dark and narcissistic and needy and anxious and can be suffocating and overwhelming. I see someone like Brent, who is happy with his life and content to keep on doing what’s important to him, knowing that good things will happen, and it’s inspiring. Whenever I think about the people in my life who hate me and exactly what depths I would go to in order to ruin their lives, I think about attitudes like Brent’s, and it reins me in. Brent is, in my opinion, the nicest guy in the world, and he deserves every second of love and happiness and satisfaction that he gets.
I love you, man. Now, can you come help me move some stuff next Friday?