I want to pay homage to one of the most magical people whom I have ever met. Today is the birthday of my dear friend, J. Garland.
Garland and I met while taking an art history course together in France. We became fast friends and have had many wonderful experiences together ever since. No matter if it is helping him to wash his clothes in the bidet or finding something we could afford to eat aside from baguettes and cheese, even the mundane becomes an adventure and a party in his presence.
Onetime, a group of us gave him a bath after a raucous evening with a bit too much wine. It was in the little town of Conques, which at night looks like a medieval movie set. We were singing and swaying as we walked the country road back from town to the inn where we were staying. We became a bit too exuberant, and Garland lost his footing and fell into the ditch which was full of stinging nettles. He wailed in pain in that animated way that he does where he expresses his misery at the situation but continues to laugh. We teased him as we pulled him out of the ditch and cheerily hustled him back to the inn, pleased that we had an excuse to drunkenly strip our friend down and throw him in a tub of water.
Since then, Garland and I have spent many days together floating lazily on lakes, going to museums and movies, dancing the nights away, being counsel to one another during various boyfriends, and eating many a meal in the other’s company. When we lived in the same city, he would come over and have Christmas dinner with me and my parents. We dream about having Garland and his husband to our home in Mexico one day for Christmas dinner once again. I hope it comes to fruition.
J. Garland, I feel blessed to have had you in my life and to call you friend.
A few pages from one of my rough sketchbook-diaries that I have. Hopefully, I can figure out a flip book program soon that is suitable for uploading some of my sketchbooks. The last one is a bit glum on my part, but it is the only single panel strip I have of Garland, and I like that it shows no matter what is happening around him, Garland’s exuberance is unfailing.