1. A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection.
Friendship is immeasurably important. Real, true, unbreakable friendship. I don’t mean the people you talk to casually, the ones that float out of your life and say “I remember that person - maybe”. I’m talking about the people on whom you can count, and who can count on you. The ones that you go through life changing experiences with. The ones who share in your joy and your pain. The ones you grow up with.
When I say grow up, I’m not necessarily implying they with whom you shared childhood, we are always continuing to grow up as we grow older. Growing up is a relative concept anyway I suppose. I am an adult, I also act like a child at times. It is that part of me which calls out for Disneyland, toys, comic books, and fantasy. It is that part of me which fuels my art. It is the part of me which allows me to smile when life isn’t easy. I’m grateful for my Peter Panism.
I do know that Neverland isn’t the place where one can perpetually exist, unless it’s where they make their living. My friend Alex Carpenter is one such person. He took his talent for music, comedy, and prose and made a life out of it - basing it on the subjects he loves. This exceptional talent that I’m proud to call my friend - of the variety I just spoke - makes music, videos, and magic about all the things he loves in this world. It’s really pretty fantastic.
In the summer of 2003 I packed my bags, kissed the South goodbye, and headed West for Los Angeles. As the summer was ending and the most magical of seasons, Fall, was beginning I came across the young man who I would later refer to as my first Los Angeles friend. He was tall, had long hair, was a native Angeleno, was spectacularly fun, and he made me laugh. This person was of course, Alex. As the time has progressed since then we’ve had more fun than I have with most of the people I’ve encountered in my lifetime.
I am a nerd. That much is more than apparent if you even take a look at me, I’m covered in my nerddom, permanently (tattoos and the like of Disney characters and the things I love in this life). Alex too, is a nerd. It’s pretty great, I decided that it would be a lot of fun to document said “nerd” factor of him. So we did a photo shoot where we started small, just a couple toys and a knight. Then Alex soared through outer space with his guitar, and kicked back nerd style, and then….explosion!
I like to think that the culminating set of this shoot is what you’d find if you had an Alex piñata at a party. Upon breaking out would come magic, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Disney, wonder, joy, Dr. Who, Hunger Games, and smiles. I’m sure there’d be more, maybe Michael J. Fox in a wind breaker, possibly Buzz Lightyear, and of course a camera and a guitar.
So here’s to my first Los Angeles friend, and the kind of friends we should never take for granted. Alex would tell you here to be brilliant.
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