We had lots of interesting times at Circle K, but one of the most important things that came out of me hanging out there was meeting a guy I call Earl. That's his last name actually, but that's what we all called him. Our first few meetings were nothing impressive, he hung out with another guy and was a side kick of sorts. We all sort of started hanging out together and doing things and he and I became friends. Now what I'm going to say may not be flattering, but its the truth from my perpsective. Earl became my sidekick. By this time I had lost a good deal of weight and was attracting the attention of the opposite sex on a semi-frequent basis. When we went out, I was the one that did the work attracting the opposite sex. And honestly, I was the one having sex with the opposite sex. Please understand that I love Earl dearly and hate to portray him in ANY negative light, he's done more for me than any other human outside of my parents and wife. But the truth was, he hadn't discovered his own self confidence and that severely impacts ones ability to attract the other sex. You know the old saying, if you don't believe it, they won't either.
So Earl became my sidekick in many ways. We were together a lot. Usually if I wasn't out with a girl, I was out with Earl. He was game for whatever stupid idea I coulld come up with. And believe me, I could come up with some real doozies. There were "Bad Company Missions" where we went out and did teenage things like roll yards and egg houses while playing the song "Bad Company" by " Bad Company" on the stereo. (Sue me, I liked that song). We went to the "square" where all the kids from all the surrounding high schools came to drive around in two circles that moved in opposite directions at 0.00002 miles per hour. We met lots of girls. But where I met girls who became girlfriends, he met girls he became friends with.
Its important at this point for me to explain than Earl has a heart of gold. He is a genuinely nice guy in every way imaginable. So when he met a girl, that niceness came through and they saw his heart of gold and bonded with him on a different level than they did with me. I'm an asshole. Now, I'm not an abusive asshole, but I wasn't out there trying to make friends with girls either. I had a mission, to tame and conquerer as much pussy as humanly possible in a short of time as possible. For whatever reason, girls got that vibe. It turned some off, it turned some on. But I almost NEVER ended up in the dreaded "Friend Zone". Earl almost always ended up there. It wasn't his fault, sometimes you can't help who you are. I even, foolishly, tried to help him change that at one point, one of the stupidest things I've ever done. You dont change an angel into a girl humping demon. I wouldn't be suprised if Earl still had contact with some of the girls we met way back then. That's how he was. To know Earl is to love Earl, but at the time it wasn't love in the sex kind of way.
Earl changed my life again. I've covered how Dan had my back, but Earl took that to another level. Let me say this now, I sucked at relationships. I always did. I'm too into the extremes and am far too emotional. I couldn't hide how I felt if my life depended on it and that bit me in the ass more times than I care to admit. Combine that with the fact that I seemed to have a crisis of self-confidence when it came to girlfriends and I was a mess to deal with. I made the same stupid mistakes over and over again ad nauseum. There were several in particular, one of which I ended up married to, that just tore me to pieces. And no matter what the circumstances, Earl was ALWAYS there to help pick me up and dust me off even though he knew I was going to get knocked down again. No matter how stupid I got, he was there for me every single time. I might hurt some people's feelings by saying this, but he is the only person that I can say that about. Everyone else in my life has let me down in one way or another at some point except Earl. If he weren't so damn ugly, I'd think he was an angel.
People like Earl are rare. You should hold on to them tightly and not let go. Unfortunately I've not done a great job of this. I get so wrapped up in my shit that I don't open my eyes to what's going on around me. Earl and I still talk, he only lives one street over, but we both have wives and kids now and that changes you. I tell myself all the time that I'm going to spend more time with him but with my crazy life its hard to do that. But, in the event that you ever read this Earl, know that I owe you a debt that I can never repay. And if you've ever wondered if I understood the depth of our friendship, I have, even if I haven't always demonstrated it. You've been there for me whenever I needed you and never asked me why I was continually being so stupid. You are the reason I made it through a lot of the sit I made it through and god bless you for being my friend. Lord knows I never deserved a friend like you, but I am eternally thankful that you were there for me. Oh, an Im sorry about the Bad Company things, those were stupid.