Even though most people feel a simple happy birthday call is good enough for a real friend I feel it simply will not do. I wanted to give her a much-deserved tiara made of tangerine-sized blood diamonds and a new hybrid helicopter but the Toyota made chopper is a bit tricky to fly without break pedals and three missing propellers. As for the rapturous rocks, Leonardo DiCaprio fucked that up with his South African accent and ruggedly handsome intentions, never stopping to think about all the diamond-less ladies frothing at the bit.
I wanted to give Liza, my partner in lifelong best friendship-ness, something I hope she would really need. So I really wracked my brain, going over a mental shopping list that looked like a T.J. Maxx sale bin. I thought about all the gift possibilities but fell brutally short, like Herve Villachaize pole-vaulting for his tiny country, Fantasy Island, during the 1980 Olympic Summer Games in Moscow. What do you give to a woman who has helped define you with a bazillion-year friendship peppered with vicious loyalty and unmatched kindness? What do you throw at a girl who has never, in the two decades plus that you have loved her ever spoken to you as if your were a pair of disposable knee-highs with reinforced toes? How do you pay a gal back for letting you borrow a closet full of the latest and greatest early 80’s fashions while all you had to lend her was a creaky drawer full of Salvation Army cardigans once belonging to the corpses of smelly old timers?
How can I possibly burp up a silver-plated candle stick or a kitschy floral cheese platter when she has handed over to me years of urinating belly laughter, Maybelline Great Lash guffaws, an uncommon love of the wine cooler, a myriad of sinful summers at The Cape, the second worst Florida sunburn ever recorded, bungled bong hit lessons and a plethora of Cabriolet convertible, Diet Coke-driven adventures?
Ahh, what is my present to this perfectly appointed post-pubescent pal? It is a long ago, little snapshot of the sexy little conjugal cave off of her parent’s kitchen area, a place that had everything a gaggle of teenage troublemakers could want; a sectional sofa large enough to fit eight shrieking freshman with a conveniently questionably pull-out bed, a 27-inch color television with a VCR and the ever-illusive cable subscription only the coolest of parents could possibly allow. This tiny guestroom/TV room housed more hand jobs, hickeys and hangovers than a Tennessee trailer park, teaching a new generation of horny harlots all about the birds, the bees and a healthy handful of snakes.
So, to celebrate Liza’s birthday I want to take her down memory lane to re-experience one of my firsts that occurred in the romper room of regret. No gutter brains, it’s not what your dirty little minds are dry humping right now. I did not lose my big V in that den of inequity, like most of our prom-loving pals. The loss of my mangled womanhood, my cyber friends, is another story involving a water bed, an Iron Maiden black light poster and a future resident of the California Department of Corrections Mostly Likely To Re-Offend List.
Unwrap the gift that keeps on dancing and picture the two of us imitating Madonna, the gypsy of gyrating, on top of that crunchy couch, dressed like little beggar girls waiting for a bus to the whorehouse in the next town over!
Celebrate, Liza! It’s your birthday!