I pretty much covered all the ground I could possibly cover last year when I wrote about how blessed I am to have such a terrifically awesome friend like Mike. Doctor Mike, if you want to be technical about it.
So instead of re–treading the same territory, I’m going to tell you all (the “world” as it were) what it is about him that I admire most.
I just gave it away, I guess.
Mike has, and has had always, a unique ability to view things through the proper perspective.
Mike understands what is truly important when weighted against the timeline of an all–too–brief life. He may or may not realize it (I think he does), but he’s always been able to reduce things, logically of course, into the most understandable relationships and from there help make the best possible decision.
Mike led me away from my parallax methodologies and helped me to understand how to break things down. It’s why I bounce things off him as much as I’m able.
In fact, there’s one circumstance, not too many years ago, where he thought me out of quite a jam with things and then had the humility and love in his heart to let me think I’d thought of things on my own. As has been said before, like Kirk & Spock.
Kirk & Spock
It really does seem tired to compare any friendship to Kirk & Spock, but it lines up there so perfectly that it’s remarkable.
It’s even increased how enjoyable it is to watch Star Trek (original cast) because there are hints of humor and wit that a lot of people overlook that remind me of Mike. And while it’s so easy to go for the big, dramatic moments like who would sacrifice what for whom, I see our friendship reflected in two of the movie scenes in particular.
Naturally, they’re from Star Trek II and Star Trek VI, respectively.
The first is when Kirk goes to visit Spock when he needs to put the ship on course to investigate what turns out to be Khan’s surprise attack. Kirk doesn’t want to take command, keeps reasoning that he’s not justified in putting himself in the prime spot.
With some wry observation, Spock lightly reminds Kirk to stop pretending he’s figured things out and is living the way he should be. He reminds him of his “best destiny”; at the same time he reminds him that even if he’s going to waste his time ignoring his best opportunities, he’ll remain his friend.
In short, offering an opinion about the best thing to do in the given situation, while never turning his back on a friend. Of course, some people might see that as sanctimonious, but I’ve learned over time that decisions are best filtered through someone with a different – and yes, perhaps better – perspective.
This ties into the “dining on ashes” scene from Star Trek VI, which is another one that made Mike and myself (at the time Seniors in high school) chuckle at the familiarity. At one point, Kirk says,
You’re a great one for logic. I’m a great one for rushing in where angels fear to tread. We’re both extremists. Reality has brought us somewhere in-between.
And if that doesn’t summarize what Mike and I have been through together, I don’t know what does.
The Shocking Truth
What some people, or rather a lot of people I know now, don’t realize, is that I was a markedly different person in the past. I like to think I’ve earned my stripes as it were; I’ve made a lot of regrettable decisions along the way.
The people that weren’t there, or backed away when the Dark Times happened, never will have the perspective to know who I used to be.
That’s not the unique part, of course. Everyone has, regardless of class or station, gone through their own trials.
The unique part, the blessing if you will, is that I’ve had a confidant for more than half my life that has grown in his own ways, while staying by my side through everything. He’s never turned his back on me even when I deserved it. He’s put his own life on hold to be by my side when I needed someone there.
I can honestly say that I would not be the person I am—feel free to judge that as good or bad—without Mike. He has helped me evolve.
He’s nothing less than a Guardian Angel. In fact, I remember my mother frequently telling me how lucky I was to have a friend like him, and that I’d do well to appreciate what a good person he was.
And trust me, my mother was the first one to turn the metaphorical flame–thrower toward anyone she considered a bad influence. There were a lot of people that saw their open invitations rescinded. Never Mike. He was always welcome.
The worst part is, I’ve never done anything remotely deserving of such loyalty and dedication. At least, there’s nothing I can recall. The only thing I can offer in return is the promise that no matter when he needs me, I’ll be there.
So Happy Birthday, Mike. This year, I remembered to get you a present. (And I know already he received it, so no spoilage there.)