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Entry date: 7-23-2022 - Happy Birthday Chic Davis - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Today is my brother Michael’s birthday. For the next few months, he is officially older than me. Some of you might be wondering about this brother thing, so I will tell you. We chose to be brothers back in 1986 and that’s the way it has been since then.

Through him, I have two other brothers, Tom and Mark, and I had a wonderful surrogate mom in Karen, who was their loving and devoted mother. I don’t know if I could call their dad, J.T., a surrogate dad, but he and I had a few good conversations over the years. In fact, one time, he pulled me aside to talk one night when I was waiting for Mike to be ready to go out and he let me know that he knew who I was and was glad I was a friend of his son’s. That was a special moment. I didn’t think he knew who I was at all.

I also was fortunate enough to meet Craig, Mike’s biological dad, and have lunch with him. That was special, too. So yeah, he and I are brothers, and we have a tattoo to prove it.

We met during senior year in high school. We were fortunate enough to get scheduled in first hour chemistry together. I had noticed him around school prior to that. You couldn’t miss him. Michael had a way of sort of walking on his toes like he was trying to peek over everyone to see something better or cooler than what the rest of us could see.

The first time I remember seeing him, he was with a girl he was dating, Chantel, and she was yelling at a girl I was with (but not dating) to not get mixed up with me, I think. She was saying, “Don’t do it, Julie. Don’t do it.” Maybe she was standing up for Julie’s boyfriend and, for the record, I didn’t fool around with Julie. Either way, I noticed this cool looking dude with the girl who was yelling and wondered, “who is he?”

In chemistry, though, we were destined to start talking to each other. There was no one else for either of us to talk to in there and it just had to happen. I liked him from the start, and we talked about hanging out at some point. We had mutual friends and one Friday, it just happened. I chronicled this evening in an earlier blog, I think when it was Brian’s birthday on April 8.

That first night, the American Children in Distress (ACiD) was born. Michael (who I probably will refer to as Mike, too), Brian, Cassie and I went out. For the next several months, the three of us (and often Cass, too), were inseparable. At the time, none of us played musical instruments or ACiD would have become a killer band. As it turns out, I’m the only one who took that path, but Michael was involved when I did.

We had a lot of fun, that’s for sure. Driving around in Michael’s blue Volkswagen truck. I told the story of us going to Mexico in that, as well, during some camping stories in March. He was always the driver and, to be honest, we probably shouldn’t have made it passed our 17th year, but we did. During the summer of 1987, which I wrote a lot about, Mike and I were together all the time, it seemed. When I left for the army, it was hard on us both and I have the pictures to prove it. (One day, I might share).

We lived together for a brief time in 1988 before I got my own place and he and Brian got theirs. I figure I will tell the story of the 27th St and Clarendon apartment at some point soon. It was pretty epic, I guess, but I will never live down giving him the scar over his eye. We were wrestling and it got out of hand, and I sort of lost my mind. I got mad at him for bleeding on my white jeans. Priorities, sheesh. He likes to bring it up from time to time and I’m okay with that because I feel terrible about it to this day.

As we got older, he became the visual director for Hillbilly in the early years. These were the days of Mr. Chic Davis. Only he could really describe Chic, I think, his alter-ego. He put together a light show for us and we had some fun with it. I'm still bitter about that projector, though. It would have been cool to have.

In the later 90s, though, we drifted apart for a bit as our lives were just not syncing up. I hated this time and always felt like there was something missing. I’m very glad we were able to get things going in the right direction again.

As we entered our 30s and 40s, our bond just grew. Michael has grown into a caring, generous man who is wiser than he gives himself credit for, I think. I was humbled and honored when I got to officiate at his wedding to Tracey. Standing up there with them was a special thing. It makes me happy to know I had a small part in their special day.

Creative, talented, funny as fuck, and handsome as all get out. Michael is one of those people that you just can’t help but like. He knows how to have a good time but has also grown into a mature, responsible dude who knows when to say when. I admire that greatly. Life has been good to him and for that I am grateful.

The thing is, Michael and I have been through so much. I moved away a couple times, albeit briefly, then he moved away to Portland for a long time. We went through some nasty times where chemicals were getting in the way of being the true humans that we are, but we have always made it back to each other. We are super fortunate to have a tight circle of people that we trust with our lives and for that I will always be grateful.

Very few people can make me laugh the way Michael can and very few people know how to let me know things will be okay the way he can with just a look. He has broader shoulders than he knows, and I couldn’t be happier to know we get to hang out in a couple of weeks. I look forward to being able to share Maine with you, my brother, and I look forward to the years to come.

I love you. Happy birthday.

See you tomorrow.

I love this picture of Tom, Michael, and I. It is from last year. Good times up on the mountain.

Sorry B...your eyes are closed, but one wonders what Mike is pointing at?

This one is not the best picture of Mike, but I believe he did the colorizing. The symbol in the corner is our tattoo that we share with our brother.

When Teresa and Johnny got married, we were there.

American Children in Distress. The band that should have been but never was... Camelback High School. 1987.

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