Brilliance in numbers (with even more friends!)

Ultimately, I’d say my friends are brilliant.

Of course, everyone says that. Everyone has that group of people that they grew up with, know inside and out, and is convinced that everyone involved will become incredibly well known at what he or she ends up doing. I’m no different – I believe my friends are all wonderful and they’re all smart and funny and they’re all politically on the right side of the fence, etc. etc.

We grew up together – since the early years of high school for some of us – and we’ve all watched each other move away and slide into different fields and customs. We were an anomaly to begin with – there’s no reason the people I called my friends would have ever joined together except in an effort to create some weird sub-society in Sioux Falls. Considering how close we all are and how things ended up, we succeeded in creating a sub-society. I’ve added smart friends as time has gone on that haven’t “joined” the group, and I’ve added acquaintances that would be friends if time and space were drastically changed.

Jim’s an aspiring filmmaker, with the knowledge, if not the background, to become a film critic if it falls through. Eric’s an acoustic guitar monster – a man who’s created his own sound that can be both intense and commercially viable; the sound of punk fused with the sentimentality of folk to create music that will blow your ass out. I’ve got other friends in music too: Mary’s band is a local phenomenon, while Zach’s music defies category and would be much more well known if he had more than a MySpace account.

Tim is helping Democratic governors win states away from the Republicans. Cody’s getting his doctorate in chemistry at USC (and he didn’t even know their football team was any good) while planning to become a university professor. John’s writing a screenplay. Alan’s writing and studying French. Andy’s an artist, as is Sam, though one uses different types of media while the other uses just paper and pencil.

The jobs don’t even have to be glamorous: Russel is a chef (which is as sexy a job as you can get, I’m sure) and Amy, Doug, and I are all playing the management game at a young age while Kerrie’s writing magazine articles and creating newsletters. Steph and Katie are going to medical school. Ryan is going to teach special education. Les is aspiring to be a video game programmer.

I know I’m not the only one that can voice these kinds of opinions about their friends. We’re all protective of our friends – we would say they were smart and funny and ground-breakingly clever even if all they did was play video games all day. I’m no different. I see more in my friends than I’d ever notice in them as a stranger.

Maybe that’s the key, though. I don’t know them as a stranger – I’m privy to their thoughts and their history and their goals, even if they hardly mention them. I’m able to look at them and discover their secrets; the things that drive them to succeed.

Sure, some of these things are pretty commonplace, these days. I still think they’re great, though. I still think that having friends that are as varied in their occupations/career paths as they are in their musical tastes is a pretty neat thing to experience. Regardless of what happens with each of them, I’m positive that I’ll always consider them to be not just friends but brilliant purveyors of whatever they plan to do with their lives.

Hell yeah, my friends are brilliant.


Of course, upon completion of this post, I was nearly positive that I had forgotten someone. As our friend Roberta pointed out – yes, I did. She is included with the “brilliant people.”

So is Sara, our resident grade school teacher, and Nick who’s in and out of work but is gutsy enough to be an intrepid traveler. Chris not only hosts this site (for which alone he’s brilliant for knowing a good thing when he sees one) but also drinks Grain Belt and aspires to do the computer stuff I’m to dumb to figure out. Hell, I’d even call Matt brilliant, simply because he had the foresight to get paid to do karaoke while the rest of us dutifully pay for the enjoyment.

An oversight, yes. But unforgivable all the same. Everyone deserves his or her “props,” and for forgetting you I apologize. To those I’ve forgotten still, let me know – we all deserve our 15 minutes in the Internet sun.

This was lovingly handwritten on November 14th, 2005