He was born ornery and beautiful, after 54 hours of stalling. How beautiful? The nurses showed him 'round the floor because he was that pretty.
He grew up ornery and smart.
How ornery? Before he walked, he crawled backwards, squalling with frustration as the objects of his desires shrank in his field of vision. He eventually got it right, though.
How smart? When he was six or so, he noticed some daily rant of his mother's, some harangue about how the day sucked. He drew an unsmiley face - just an apathetic horizontal slash under the penciled dot eyes - with the admonition "Have A Day" on it. When he gave it to me, his eyes sparkled. He made me grin. That takes talent.
He grew up talented.
How talented? Have you got a while? He's a comic actor with timing, girning, and attitude to spare. He plays four- and six-stringed instruments easily, beautifully, creatively. He plays the studio, too, when he gets a chance, and the sounds are gorgeous. He sings, and he sings harmony. They're almost two different things, and those of you who sing know what I mean. He writes only occasionally, damn his eyes, but when he does, it's always worth reading. He has a singularly twisted wit, is passionate about democracy, has voted in every election - every election, right down to aldermanic elections in off-years - since he was able to vote. He loves to cook, and has instinctive creativity in the kitchen. He dances as good as he walks.
He's not perfect, but who is?
He is gentle, happy, generous, lazy, creative, brave, moody, thoughtful, hard-working when necessary, afraid, funny, opinionated, stronger than he thinks, and he makes this world a better place just by being in it.
This is Andrew Louis McNeill Berlien, and I love him. Happy Birthday, booga84 !
Picture courtesy James Plunkett