If Santa is watching me, let it be known that I have been naughty. Instead of honesty, I have often lied. Instead of kindness, I have often begrudged. Instead of admiration, I have often run away from anyone who cares for me.
But I do not write here in hopes of redemption. Nor do my superfluous and probably misplaced sentences serve as an apology to those I have either injured, lied to, or shown general ingratitude towards. Rather these words are a means to celebrate those same people who I have forgotten about. It is their influence, their altruism, and their numerous lessons that have shaped me into who I am, naughty as that may be.
While the ‘celebratory’ list presented here is by no means exhaustive and perhaps better reflects a failing memory than anything else, it stands as a manifestation of myself to this point. Each person, addressed only by their initials, will have a memory, idea, or just general sentiment that is associated with them. It is these pieces of a cerebral puzzle – pieces that I have all too soon abandoned – that I wish to hold onto, and more honestly, recognize that our relationship was once a certain way.
Unfortunately, it can never be that way again. Things change, time ticks on, and life happens.
Now, though, in an attempt to slow down, I write this post with the intention that during the brief, fleeting pause where my legs shake slightly due to their idleness, and my eyes become sore from the computer’s prosthetic brightness, and my fingers click away at a modern day symphony, I will be able to use my words to travel farther than my legs could ever.
To O.N: Every moment of every day of every second, I look into the mirror, and I see what you could have been. Or it is better said what I could have been. Either or, we are similar in only how different we truly are.
To M.N: You gave life to a baby who never asked to be born, education to a boy who many thought would amount to a three-year-old’s intellect, and hope to a teenager who had abandoned it along with his toys. Thank you.
To W. N: From pizza flipping to body flipping, you were the source of my laughter. Despite it all, whether it be a counterfeit immigration or holding your best friend’s lingering life in your hands, you taught me that in the end, tears dry up, swearing loses its meaning, and the world moves on. So you laugh. Now, I do too.
To C. N: I have worn your dresses. My hair has served as your laboratory. I have placed your bras on my head in what I perceived to be an unquestionably funny joke. And yet – I can’t say I know you well. Thinking about it, I don’t want my last words to be, “I wish I knew you better.” Instead, let them be, “I wish I knew you less. Hair eating is disgusting, you know.”
To J.B: You taught me that even with a frozen tear, it’s all right to cry. Most of the time you felt compelled to because people forced you to tears. They called you tear-drop-boy. They called you stupid. They called you gay. You then taught me a second lesson, “Fuck ‘em.” To this day, I try to do that in one-way or another.
To G.M: I would say that our friendship began with an insult: peanut boy. That’s what I called you. You never got mad though. Instead, you chose to spend your recesses inside with me, and I never had more fun. We played Lego, tag, or just sat around aimlessly. Every day I wished that you would pick me to be your “Recess Buddy”. Most of the time, you didn’t. It was those days when I was overlooked that I learned life wasn’t fair – some kids are deathly allergic to peanuts and get to play Lego during recess while some are just normal. Guess some people get all the luck.
To J.F: Together we delved into the world of science. In grade seven, we dominated the science fair. Grade eight, we didn’t. We wondered why. Soon we found out: you can’t turn copper into gold. I’m sure the Nobel Prize would have been ours otherwise. We thought we should of be nominated for trying though. We were trying to do the impossible while everyone else was restricted to possibilities. Too bad no one else saw the genius in our attempt. Too bad we didn’t see it either.
To S.S: Because of you, the underbelly of the world materialized in front of me like a whisper during the summer’s heat – ephemeral, misunderstood, and tantalizingly. Words like drugs, sex, and sin all licked my lips in a mixture of infantile curiosity and sobering fear. You showed me a way to life that I luckily never followed. In turn, I wish I could of shown you that it didn’t have to be that way – no matter how bad you think life is, the sun always rises in the morning.
To Z.A: Some said you were big boned. Others said you were fat. I thought you were nothing short of graceful. Instead of football, you played volleyball. Instead of quitting, you preserved until the end. Now you play for the Waterloo Basketball team. Funny how things turn out like that. People called me skinny and look where that got me: a blog.
To R.B and K.B: My early high school career was spent idolizing you two from a distance. Both of you, brother and sister, were undeniably the most intelligent in high school. I, on the other hand, was mediocre. I slipped by, barely at that. Then one day during swimming practice, R.B told me that it didn’t have to be like that. I could become someone. “Anyone,” he said. I decided right then and there I would be like you two. A year later, you two said you both looked up to me.
To P.S: The first time I saw you, I thought that you were a guy who farted really well. While this was certainly immature, it proved to be true. Nearly on command, a fart, or a squeak, or an atomic bomb composed of methane was released. Once I read you a quote, “We are here to fart around, and don’t let anyone tell you differently,” and you smiled, looked to me, and said, “Did you hear those ducks?” The room smelt like life.
To R.I: After three years of knowing each other only through angst and misunderstood contempt, my first word to you was about abortion. My next was poetry. Soon after, it was love. In between those words, some spoken and some not, you turned me into both the best and worst person I have ever been. Now after it all, I am just Kacper, neither the best nor the worst. I am the shell of everything I ever was and most of all, what I wasn’t. Thank you and sorry for both.
To N.P: With wit like a rapier, you scathe me with every word. You admonish me. You judge me. You make fun of me. And yet somehow you are the greatest friend I have ever had. In no way do I reciprocate the things that you do for me. Perhaps that’s why you do all those things: because I never can. Perhaps that’s also why you’re still friends with me: because I never will.
To B.S: When emailing one another, I have never seen more brackets. If I were to point to a reason for this styling, I’d say it’s because most of our thoughts consist of segmented ideals. We see the world differently and for different reasons. We argue about the good and the bad, whether words have meaning or not, and whether should hate-speech be allowed. Most of the time, I never have an opinion. I just like talking to you, even if it means going against you. I am glad you often speak back – at least most of the time. The other times you just sit in silence and get lost in your head. I think I may like that more.
To B.S: Sometimes, life can be all about you. It’s not that the world revolves around you, however. You have troubles. You have pains. But you rise above them. You live. You find pleasure in simple things. You have a group of friends that help you every step of the way. I guess that’s what you taught me: with friends, family, and maybe even the Kardashians, you do not need to take on the world by yourself. You may have come into the world alone, and you may even die alone, but in between, there are billions of people. You just need to find the ones who care for you.
To C.O: What began with a persistent back poke developed into a furious discussion of the best race in the Age of Mythology. Call it boys just being boys, but I called it the beginnings of a friendship. Now about a year and a half later, I realize that some beginnings never end. They just always begin again. Each day is different. Each joke changes. And while this may be true, there is one thing constant: I can call you a friend. Always.
To D.L: It is in between the beats where I found you, and it is there where you told me to search for others. Often, I presumed things on people. I made assumptions. I tailored my conversations to get a certain response. You suggested once that people are only similar in their heart beats. It was then when I listened to my own heart beat that I heard yours and everyone else’s, and I soon realized that when I altered my actions, I was only tailoring myself in others. Everyone was unique. Everyone was different. I had forgotten that. With a twin, I guess it can be excused.
To K.B: Undeniably, each and every person above influenced me in distinctive ways. Because of them, I have become the person that I am. And because of them, I present myself to you – my last influence. And it was during my presentation to you that I learned that I have absorbed so little from so many. Many of the lessons I once knew I have lost. Many of the memories I once cherished I have forgotten. It is you who reminded me otherwise, however. You summarized all that I could ever learn in a word: enjoyment. “I’m happy,” you told me. Only later did I figure out what that meant:
Do things because you want to do them. Give because you want to give. Help because you want to help. Love because you want to love. Not for any reciprocation. Not for any exaltation. Not for any praise you may gain. Even if someone is dishonest. Even if someone isn’t thankful. Even if someone has run away from you. Who and what you are is untouchable, undiminished, and beautiful. You are eternal, no matter what mistakes you have made, no matter how far you have run, and no matter if you have abandoned those who have shaped you.
And so, I remember this, and remember all those that I have influenced me, and I realize that I have a lifetime to figure out what makes me happy. Right now, though, I know you and all my other inexhaustible influences make me smile – and that’s enough. In fact, it’s all I could ever ask for.