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Dept. of Beautiful People

Wanna See A Match Burn Twice?

That was what Bob said to me shortly after he'd met me. He was a bartender at The Barbarossa at the time, and I was already entranced with him, despite having known him less than a week. I was sitting at the bar, late at night, after the live music had stopped. Perhaps someone had put a dime in the jukebox; I can't remember. But I remember him pulling the joke on me, much to my horrified surprise. I also remember how horrified he was, in turn, when he realized that he'd just pulled the joke on someone who didn't know enough to move her arm away in time.

Sort of a weird thing to start a birthday wishes post with, I suppose. Perhaps I should have started with the story about him drooling beer down the front of his shirt as a piece of guerrilla bartender theater? No?

Then let me follow with why I remember those things, from way back at the beginning - it was because he always knew how to laugh, and how to make other people laugh. And it was because his sense of humor was so sideways that it invigorated me, and reminded me not to be so sour and dour. He made me laugh, and that was, if not lifesaving for me, then certainly a priceless gift at a time when I
wasn't too apt to smile.

Over the years, he taught me about more than just when to laugh at fate.

He taught me how good and patient a man he is, as he became the full time parent to our son.

He taught me how talented he was, and he taught me how to entertain people.

He taught me about rock and roll. He taught me about jazz, and made me listen to A Love Supreme, and now decades later, he doesn't have to force me to do that, because I want to listen to it myself.

He taught me about living outside my comfort zone in other ways; sushi, and foreign films (at least some of them), and anime, and long late-night talks about whether or not "Is There A God" wasn't the wrong question to ask about life.

He taught me about persisting in the face of pain, and fear, and uncertainty, and about how important it is to talk to the one you love when you need help.

Much of what I am today is because of him. I am so grateful to know him, and to celebrate his birthday with him.

Love you, President of the World!

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/373702.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday to BB!! An amazing man, with an amazing life! May he continue to be awesome for many, many years to come!

*Happy!Hugs to you both!*
Aug. 9th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks - he is such an amazing man, and the world is lucky to have him!

*hugs back to you and your boys, too*
Aug. 9th, 2015 10:44 pm (UTC)
You both make the world a richer place.
Aug. 9th, 2015 10:58 pm (UTC)
That is one of the best things one can say about another person. Thank you.
Aug. 9th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
As you know, Bob Kathy, at the best and most charitable, my profile of social acuity is rather ragged. So I cannot account for knowing simple, basic things guys™ rarely do. Like, one of the absolutely best ways to reach a woman is to make her laugh.
Which, reminds me of Jessica Rabbit's wonderful line: "He makes me laugh." So thank you for reminding me to watch Roger Rabbit again to watch for frames I want to grab for my wallpaper collection.

Best wishes, endless happy returns, and many many more.
Aug. 21st, 2015 07:59 pm (UTC)
I wanted to let you know that I've always identified, just the tiniest bit, with Jessica, although my hair is no longer red, and my husband is a good deal more handsome than Roger. Heh.

And thank you, belatedly, for the good wishes!
Aug. 10th, 2015 02:20 am (UTC)
It's still Bob's b'day! Yay! I celebrate with you, lo these many miles away.

I don't know the burning match joke. I now know enough to be leery of it.

Your post reminds me of the year I drove down to Chicago for Bob's b'day. Probably 1984 or 1985. When was "Kiss and the Knife" still brand new? I arrived with a full-on road buzz topping a long work week, walking into the party in full swing. Bob handed me the headphones or put them on my head, then played the song for me. Loved it then, still love it now.

I was still not quite ready to engage in party conversations. I remember pulling Edward Steichen's A Life in Photography from your bookshelf and spending a good half-hour and more totally mesmerized. Years later, I pulled a later edition of the book from a store shelf, fully intending to buy it. But the print and paper quality of that edition was...appallingly bad in comparison with the richness of the tones in the photos as I first saw them.

I eventually joined the party at hand and had a fine time, indeed. Just like so many other visits with the two of you and friends over the years.

Here's to many more birthdays, and many more such visits, too.

Aug. 21st, 2015 08:02 pm (UTC)
Belated response here, to tell you that I'm so glad you remember one of Bob's birthdays so clearly; you definitely have the Historian gene! (I can't remember that birthday; can you recall if there was an infant in the picture? If not, and based on the newness of that song, I'd say it was 1984 and I was probably hugely pregnant.

And let's indeed have many more Bob's Birthdays together!
Aug. 10th, 2015 08:11 pm (UTC)
Aug. 21st, 2015 08:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you, my dear!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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