The Internet was this cool nifty toy and everyone should have their own homepage.
So I started my own homepage at Geocities. I had high school angsty poetry and prose. But I wasn't getting many visitors. Hmmmm.
I don't remember exactly when I met ducttapeavenger, quite possibly at a party of a mutual friend; however, my homepage was lacking content, so I mirrored his site, which I thought was hilarious: The True Religion.
Soon there after, there was a breakup in The True Religion/The World Oligarchy. ducttapeavenger and Cronan split into their own factions. ducttapeavenger, unwilling to rule the world alone, promoted me to Co-Ruler to help him and as thanks for my contributions to the Oligarchy. The schism between the two factions was mended shortly thereafter. And ducttapeavenger, Cronan and myself, became the three Co-Rulers of the World.
Time went on. We graduated. ducttapeavenger went off to join the military. I went off to college.
We saw each other the few times he was home. Then ducttapeavenger went overseas and Cronan was diagnosed with cancer while he was away.
A few months later ducttapeavenger came home and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, just a few hours away. Although, we didn't really see each other that often, we corresponded via e-mail.
I had visited Cronan a lot over the summer, but hadn't had much time once school started back up. I still remember the night ducttapeavenger called me to tell me Cronan died.
The next night we met at my favorite coffee shop. We didn't say a lot.
A few nights later, we got drunk along with our friend Jason after Cronan's memorial service. Quite possibly the first time we ever drank together.
Life moves on.
About a year later, ducttapeavenger stood up at the front of the church with me at my wedding, as my best man.
And then, when my first daughter was born, he became a Godfather for the first time.
I was young, married and broke. I couldn't afford rent, so for the first year of my marriage, he was our roommate, until he finally started his college career. That year is one of the most memorable in my past. The two of us would spend hours, talking, writing, drinking, or whatever.
Even after school started, he was pretty much a weekly fixture at our place.
And then my second daughter was born and he became a Godfather, yet again.
And once again, the country called on him. And he went to serve in Afghanistan.
But life continues.
When my marriage hit the rocks and the whole world has seemed upside down. He's been right there with me.
We once again are sharing an apartment. The late night conversations. The playing games or watching movies until the wee hours of the morning. I've introduced him to football and basketball. He's helped me get through many a rough night of homework.
For most of at least a decade now and definitely the past 7 years, ducttapeavenger has been a fixture in my life, excluding when Uncle Sam has called him to serve.
He is the rational mind to my craziness. He is the Felix Unger to my Oscar Madison.
My little girls call him "Uncle Brendan." And in everything but blood, he is my brother.
And all because of an idea I had over a decade ago. I thought I would mirror a cool site that he put up.
And that was my best idea ever.