Sometimes in life you come upon a real character. A person so full of life, they seem to splash over, brimful. I’m not talking about people who are "always on," always trying. To entertain. To impress. But of people who just seem to drip with life. You see it in their mannerisms, the grand gesture of their arms as they sweep you in. Upon first meeting, they pull you into a bear hug. Warm. And they want to know your whole life, to delight and celebrate lives as they’ve been lived and to toast how they’ll continue. I love these people, larger than life, with their amplified ways who aren’t afraid to show their tears and wear their heart on both sleeves.
This weekend I was around such a person, a person who donates anonymously, who listens and cares, who’s life of the party and lives his to the fullest. A guy with a heart of gold. It’s been a long time since I’ve met such a person, a friend of my father’s, who put us all up at the Borgata, where he appeared to be King. He didn’t give a shit what people thought of him, as he strut around in his dark suit, an unlit cigar from his mouth, sunglasses at night. I loved it, not just the way he took in life, but the way he spoke of his own. "Yeah, I used to load trucks for that guy in the middle of the night." He reminded me of my grandfather Papoo, a man who didn’t just charm you. He knew where to get the best scrambled eggs, who made a good waffle. And he knew, I hope, how much we all appreciated his bringing us together for the weekend.
My father is still my best friend, but I’m thankful for his friend, for making our time together soar. I’d bet on him any day. I’d even double down.