Today is the birthday of one of my best friends, the oft-mentioned Londoner Andy, who "read[s] read this pinko fag blog but [does]n't comment at it." I wish, once again, that I were there to celebrate with him and slurp wonton soup while we machine-gun fire Woody Allen lines at each other until we are drunk with laughter.
In 2001, I was in London for Andy's birthday. I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate, and he didn't want to do anything special; he'd come meet me at my hotel. We went for terrible pizza nearby, then walked and talked and eventually sat ourselves in Norfolk Square in a light rain, where we had a conversation I can remember as clearly as if it were yesterday—just a meandering tumble from subject to subject—Hitchcock, The Tracey Ullman Show, Bowie, this Scottish bloke I'd just met....
I remember that later that night, I took a shower, and realized only after I was soaking wet, there was no shampoo. I washed my hair with soap, which put it in an awful tangle, and as I sat on the bed slowly combing through it feeling a bit grumpy and lonely and miserable about leaving for home the next morning, the phone rang and I knew it was Andy and I smiled.
Andy's just become an uncle (again), sharing his birthday with a new niece. For her I wish a life rich with the sort of friendship I have with her splendid uncle.
Happy Birthday, Andy.