My Friend, John David
John David is a 27-year-old man living in Brooklyn, NY. I’ve known him for twenty-one years! As kids we had our own kingdom that spanned over an entire apartment complex! We had outdoor thrones that jutted out of an embankment over a creek and we called them The Crows’ Nests. We built forts, ate cupcakes for breakfast, and kept up with Captain Planet together. We had all of the same Academically Gifted classes with each other, then would go to Odyssey of the Mind or the after school program where we would impose the rules of our gang onto others and terrorize the adults until one of our mothers would pick us up. It seems like maybe we’d eat dinner at our own apartments before meeting up afterwards and running around outside until it got dark, or if it got dark early we’d change the words to Billy Ray Cyrus songs from “me,” to “pee,” and then sometimes even have a sleepover. Rinse, and repeat for several years… Until my mom got remarried and we moved 45 minutes away. As a child, that is SO FAR AWAY! Our parents rarely made the commute for us to see each other and we lost touch…
Almost 11 years later I still thought about John David often, he had been that friend you get lucky to find in childhood… One that you hoped had grown up into a person you would still know and like. I had tried to find him several times but we’d both moved around a bit, my mom didn’t know how to reach his mom anymore, and they weren’t in the phone book. One night I got a call from my other longtime friend, Alicia, who knew John David from her weekend visits with me.
“Oh my god! I’m walking on campus and I SWEAR TO YOU I just saw a grown up version of that John David kid! He looks exactly the same! But bigger!!!!”
I was so excited! I demanded her password for the student website and looked in the directory. He was there! I saw a phone number and called it immediately. A girl answered.
“Hey..is John David there?”
“Um, who’s this?”
“Well, this might sound weird …but my name is Heather and I used to know John David when we were kids…I just..”
“HEATHER?! FROM FOXCROFT?!”
“Oh my gosh! He’s in the shower but he’s talked about finding you! One second!”
I hear a little commotion and then… I hear a man version of the voice I’d talked with over so many hours…
“Heather?! You’re alive! Me and Devi tried to find you!”
We talked for a long time, he was still awesome and we somehow grew up to like all of the same things. We were both determined to make it into the film industry, and he was going to be near me a few weeks later so we met up and all of a sudden I had my friend again! It was the best! A couple of years later, he introduced me to his friend who hired me to work on a short film in NYC, inspired me to move to Brooklyn, convinced me that everything would be OK if I picked up and left, and it was. Because of that move and the experience I gained at internships in New York, I was hired onto a Golden Globe winning series in the costume department. John David is a cameraman on feature films in New York. This human has been nothing but positive in my life…born ridiculous and talented and stayed that way, how rare.
Last weekend Sarah and I visited NYC and a few of our friends we were set to crash with bailed on us… John David let us stay at his apartment for 3 nights, he gave up his bedroom to us because he’s the best human. He made up the couch in his room for Sarah, and slept in the other room…because he’s the best human. Then, on the morning we left, he made us coffee and served sliced mango while he MADE US BREAKFAST… Amazing breakfast… Because he’s the best human.
John David is the best human.
John David, greatest man.
Tiny versions of us selling some kind of honey or jams to vegetarians…. I’m guessing we were about 6 years old here. It’s the only picture I could find, and my mom was sooooo slow at going through boxes of old photos to find the one I wanted. UGHHHH, moms.
Here we are sometime in 2009 on the R train in Brooklyn.