“Was that really only one glass?” I ask, looking up from my phone. We’re standing at the border of a grassy park after a long day of shopping, people-watching, and boozing.
“They gave you a free refill.” She reminds me.
“Oh. Well. It was delicious. I’m buzzed.”
“Are you calling a car, or what?” She sounds irritated.
“Dude, Uber has been searching for the past 5 minutes.” I hold up my phone for her to see. “It’s all I use. It’s time to call it quits.”
“I use Lyft. Hold on. I’ll call one.”
“Well, thank God!” I say, throwing my hands up and laughing in relief. “A solution!”
Freed of responsibility, I tuck my cell away and wander the near vicinity to try and enjoy myself.
“What’s this?” I ask, crouching in the grass beside a thick branch.
“A stick,” she says, as if I’m an idiot.
“Not just a stick,” I say dramatically, lifting it from the ground with mock reverence. It’s heavy. As wide as my wrist. The perfect length. My voice deepens. “A staff.” I hold it as such, pretending to hobble on it. “Gandalf’s staff!” I laugh in a maniacal tone, doing a terrible impersonation of Gandalf’s limping gait, heading toward the sidewalk.
She’s laughing now, too, looking at me like I’m crazy, but still. She’s laughing. There’s nothing better than making someone laugh.
I do my best cripple-walk to the center of the pathway. There, I slam my staff into the concrete, half-holding back giggles as I yell, “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!”
We nearly die, cracking up together, stumbling toward one another and leaning against each other for gasping support, tears in our eyes.
There’s nothing better than laughing really, really hard with your friends. In moments like these, when you know you’re being truly ridiculous, when you are only vaguely aware of all the cars driving by, of people watching or listening, and of anyone judging you, whatever feeling of discomfort you might possibly have is overridden by the feeling of companionship.
Today, here’s to friends who laugh at our terrible dad-jokes, and to companions who don’t judge us for acting like total morons in public. Here’s to friends who text back “LOLLLLL” when we send them GIFs from the Internet only they would understand, and to friends who don’t mind acting like idiots with us too.
Today, friends, here’s to you.