Today was…. A humbling experience for me. After 730 Days without seeing or talking to my best friend in person, I had the honor of accompanying his anxious family members to the airport and bringing him home. It’s been a long and arduous journey without this man, and I can’t believe it’s been nearly 2 years. Gage Cottle, who I accredit turning me into the person you all know today. He was the first one that treated comic books as a serious art form and was the first one that I felt like I could talk on a serious note about silly, fictional characters. I remember back in 2008, when “Watchmen” was yet to come out into theaters and he was talking about how excited he was for it. I had no idea that seeing that movie on Gage’s recommendation would change the course of my pop culture consumption forever. Gage was the one who put the first comic book into my hand, from that point on I've been entirely changed.
I had a few moments to myself today, thinking about what all it meant that Gage is home. I can lean on him in person and not just over email. I may need it still. It’s been about 1 year and 8 months since my life crumbled down into a million, unusable pieces. From that point on, Gage had always been my wall that I could bounce ideas off of or just vamp a bit about how things are hard or difficult. I knew that I could do this because his emails always came back with words of confirmation or affirmation of what I was doing; they always ended in words of love and encouragement. I knew that if I had reached my wit’s end and had nowhere else to turn to, I always had an audience with this great man. He never judged me or told me that I should change my course of action. In many dark times it was a bright star to receive an email from this kind soul on Monday mornings.
The past few days I've looked back at pictures of Gage before he left, or when we were still in high school. I was a bit remiss to do so, not to say that I didn't enjoy seeing the bright and shining faces of my temporarily departed friends. My biggest difficulty in seeing these pictures was that I didn't even recognize the Dalton in those pictures. Obviously I could tell it was me, but I've torn down every piece of myself since those were taken. I am an entirely different person then I was in those pictures, and I haven’t been that person in nearly 2 years. I know that these changes have been for the better mostly. I just want to go into these pictures and hug the version of myself I was, I just want to hug, comfort and tell him that everything will be ok soon. I would tell him that the immediate future will be the most difficult and trying times in his life, but that there are so many good people around him to help guide him through. Sometimes I wish I could just go back and live, perpetually, in the times of those pictures. All of my friends are together and my life was going well. Because right now, I tell people that “I feel like I have control over a lot of the aspects of my life that I haven’t for quite a while.” But the truth is that I’m still rebuilding my life, trying to find my place and look for my place.
2 Years Ago, Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed.
I realize I’m far off track from where I started, but it ties back into Gage’s triumphant return because this is a step forward. I've taken very few steps forward since May of 2012, and I know that this is one. My best friend is back in my day-to-day life and I could not be happier about that. I wanted this day to come for so long, especially in the wake of my entire life crashing down on and around me. I give a large sigh of relief now. It’s just another piece of the mosaic of my life that I can put up.
But I must move onward, we recorded the inaugural episode of my soon to be published podcast. There is a 5 foot tall stack of movies, TV box sets and comic books that Gage has to catch up on, and we intend to review or just talk out of our asses about them. So that could prove to have some good times that follow.
More details to come…
Thanks for reading the incessant ramblings that come directly from my brain to the keyboard.
It's difficult to tell which one just came back from a 2 year stint in South America.