So, I admit I was a die hard NKOTB fan growing up. Jordan Knight was one of my favourites.
Driving home from Toronto this morning, I heard this song and came home to find out who it was and was pleasantly surprised the above mentioned was singing it.
I have this friend named Jordan. We worked together for several years. People teased us that we had something going on because we were always together, always laughing and just had a certain chemistry that is apparent to others. This chemistry however was not romantic in nature. You see I teased Jordan that he was too short and he was into filipino girls. He used to call me giraffe neck because yes, it's a bit on the long side. We used to encounter crazy situations all the time. We ran in the rain, drove around the city in my convertible listening to J-Lo on repeat, stole an alcoholic's booze at work and drank it, fled from a crazy person that worked there who we were convinced was going to kill us all.
When my indian landlords, a husband and wife both named Jaz left me for a week in the winter with no heat, I developed bronchial pneumonia. Jordan saved the day and let me crash at his condo for a week. He had a psycho girlfriend that hated every woman that he ever was friends with so I was hesitant but so cold and so sick that I accepted his offer. When my car broke down and the tow truck driver started to stalk me, Jordan came to my rescue. When my car broke down again the night of our company Christmas party at the Royal York, he brought me my outfit so I would be ready in time.
Jordan was always into luxury cars but somehow ended up smashing them. When his insurance only allowed him a mere Jetta, I came with him to Cambridge for the ride. He hated that car with a passion and to add insult to injury, the entire staff sang a happy happy joy joy song to him introducing him to his used car. We laughed the whole way home.
Him and I had so many laughs. Do you know when someone has lived such a parallel life that only that person can get your jokes or a moment without any explanation whatsoever? This is called a friend and people could never understand how we didn't have a romantic relationship. Sometimes two people who are so much alike just need the yang to balance out their ying. Translated: We were suited to be friends and not lovers. He used to tease me about my horrible dates I would go on. He would tell me from a man's perspective what was up, what the deal was, the truth. He called me "kid", long before Mr. Big ever endearingly said it to Carrie.
We also went through some traumatic times over the years. He lost a few siblings, went through car accidents, survived a couple of heart attacks and most recently a stroke. I call him a stroke survivor. He calls me a survivor of life.
Jordan and I lost touch over the past few years but reconnected when I met Michael. We invited him to our place in Waterloo and found ourselves in a strange man's living room being offered moose meat while the head was fixed to the wall. Last night, I headed to stay with him and his girlfriend Marie at their condo in Toronto. As soon as we got on the elevator, a strange man ran out holding a cooking pot which looked to have broken up pieces of sandwiches in it. He was eating it ferociously out of the pot with a fork and making a run for it. We instantly burst into laughter when Jordan exclaimed: "that's not something you see every day."
Jordan has always been an I.T. professional and making 6 figures doing so. I always told him that he was out to prove to the world about how successful he was with his flashy cars, condos, gadgets and lifestyle. His stroke changed everything. He wants to give up his high paying job to go back to school and help people with physiotherapy. His story touched me. He is a changed person. He listens and is no longer self absorbed. He offered to invest in my business by purchasing lenses for me from an auction and help me get my feet off the ground.
If I thought I was a passionate person, his girlfriend Marie invented the word. She is a graphic designer, an artist, a poet and a beautiful person. Life has been different since Jordan has had his stroke. He walks with a cane. He can no longer drive. She takes care of him, their home, her job and their dogs. He pushes her away in thinking that he will one day die soon. He tells her she has a hall pass to leave for a weekend and do whatever she wants. Marie doesn't go, she stays. She loves him so very much that her tears break my heart. I gave him shit last night and told him that at a certain point, you have to stop pushing people away that care about you because at our age, we will most certainly wind up alone and revelling in emotional torture is no longer a cool way of living. It becomes sad.
It has got to be the best feeling in the world to have a friend who believes in you and accepts you as you are. I always accepted Jordan but chided him for living a reckless life. We used to argue about religion and he told me he didn't believe in God. When I last met up with him, he proudly announced that he was baptized and wore a cross around his neck. I knew he was a changed man. When I met Marie, I hugged her and we connected immediately. She was not jealous of our friendship but encouraging. We sat for hours, the three of us and drank wine, listened to music and shared secrets and dreams. This is something Jordan and I used to do and it is a great feeling to know that I can still be a part of that life with him and Marie.
This is the beginning of a long journey for our Jordan but in his words, the stroke is the best thing that has ever happened to him. He is no longer self absorbed but self aware. It's ironic that something so earth shattering could be considered a blessing. To read more about his story, click here.
Jordan, I'm so glad we have had over a decade of memories, laughs, tears and moments. Marie, thank you for being an angel.
Thank you for being my friend.