Except I’m not, because I have one and it’s his fucking birthday.
Happy Birthday Luke, I was bummed that you were hid away in Scotland in fuck knows nowhere so far away from us on your birthday so I wanted to show you I cared more than just a facebook message or a call or a dumb cheap gift.
I’ve known you for what feels like an eternity now, so far away that it’s even kind of hazy how it even happened. It feels like we were just kids, probably because we were. I tasked the boysies(I’m sorry Angharad but that term includes you as well, but I guess that’s apt given the moustache!) with telling a tale of when we first met you or first really felt connected to you, which while sounds like a big ask; isn’t actually a big ask because you do it so seamlessly. You connect with people in a way that is so similar to me, but on an emotional level too.
I think most of our “Hey man I’m sad can I just talk to you for an hour” ends with “yeah I know why you’re sad and it’s because you did the same thing as I would do because we both are the same and we’re dumb and over analyse things”. You’re more of a brother than a friend to me because there are times you do such dumb shit that I put my hands up and literally mouth the words “What the fuck!” but no matter how dumb, ignorant, over the top or arrogant either of us ever act towards each other I don’t ever think that would change that you’ve been nothing short of fantastic to me.
I first met you while I was dating who I felt was the most important person to me in the entire world and she was. I was blissfully happy with my independence, being madly in love and intoxicated by having one of the greatest friendship groups on the planet. I felt like at every level of connection I had with people, even on the internet with my guild that I was fucking infinite. I met you at the train station thinking “this is going to be weird” but from our interactions on Ventrilo, you start running at me so I join in kind and tackle hug you and it didn’t feel weird. It was super gay and it was so spontaneous that I guess we’ve just run with that precedent for the rest of our friendship.
We stole cake from Christians, we laughed with friends, we drank so much over so many happy years and we cried over the times that felt like they wouldn’t get any better, but that leads me into my “Luke is my friend” story. Unlike everyone else, you had already set the bar so high that it always felt like that there was no click of a light switch to feel connected to you because I always had that vibe, well I thought so anyway.
In 2013 I had all the happiness from my life vanish over the period of six months and I think with a combination of excessive drug usage and the inability to control something I cared so much about fixing I span into a sort of manic depression where every day I cried myself to sleep or if I was awake was paranoid, angry or just spent the rest in bed. I did this for about, 2 months and I broke one night and finally told someone what was going on. I just sent a dumb message to Luke expecting to chat about it until he went to bed but I got one message after mine. “I’m there.” I didn’t get another message for about an hour. I got another message saying “I’m nearly at Bedford, be awake.”. I thought this was some kind of joke, who the fuck gets a spontaneous train ride to Bedford just because I broke up with a girl, that happens to people all over the place all the time. I’m not special; but low and behold I had someone knock on my door and you just kind of hugged me for five minutes. I spent 30 seconds making the usual British “hey man, how was the journey” and you just told me I’m here. I stood there for another minute thinking “what?” before just beginning to cry and you didn’t make it weird or ask me to pull myself together. You were just there for me.
We took stupid amounts of MDMA in shotglasses with water because neither of us had rizzla and it was the most disgusting taste i’d ever tasted but we kept drinking it so none was wasted. It was gross so we had some orange juice and you sat there and we both played Hearthstone. Me on my PC and you on KD’s PC and we just… played, and played, and laughed and I taught you the first ever cheese on Hearthstone Ladder; the murloc deck and you loved it. I loved that anyone could play the deck and we just cheesed our way to the highest rank I’ve ever been too.
Something in particular sticks out in my mind is when you went to the bathroom after about an hour of playing the game, you came back and you wern’t wearing a t-shirt (clearly the Molly taking affect but I hadn’t ever properly taken it so I didn’t really know) and I just plain face asked you “Dude, wheres your clothes?” and you kind of just, smacked your lips at me and asked me? “What?” and I followed up with with a super confused tone saying “Your shirt, where has it gone?” “Dunno man” you replied with and I just kinda laughed as you pull me into the living room to watch a movie and wind down and talk things out. You picked “Someone to spend the end of the world with” and honestly I thought that the movie sounded fucking dumb and wasn’t really interested. We spoke a bit but I was feeling kind of bummed that I wasn’t feeling anything and you were really high and I fell asleep in the first 5 minutes of the film. I woke up about, 25 minutes later and my eyes wouldn’t stop moving. I look to Luke for some clarification as to what’s happening, but he’s crying and he tells me “I’m so glad you’re here, you’re just in time.” We watch the scene in the movie where the main character accepts he’s probably just going to be alone and it hits me really hard. We hug and just, really feel the film.
I think in those four hours after, I spoke more about what I actually felt regarding me and KD’s break up than I ever did in those angry rosr posts or to anyone else. I spoke about how I for the first time in my life, considered killing myself, that a doctor telling me I was depressed and offering me counseling and anti-depressants made the depression “real” for me and didn’t help so I rejected all of the help and just kind of, talked and talked and talked. Luke just nodded and offered any assurance I needed for nearly an hour straight. We were starting to wind down and we’re just listening to music on the floor surrounded by blankets and cushions and duvets and As Tall As Lions – Stab City comes on, we’re still just chatting like normal but then the lyrics come on and Luke just starts gently singing the start of the song. “My heavy head…” and just… instinctively my brain follow on and we’re both “properly” singing, but the chorus hits and our silly high pitched voice comes out “Don’t siiiiiiiiink, nooooooooooooo”.
I genuinely have never had so much fun, meaning and catharsis in a single song. I cried, laughed, and just learnt that Luke isn’t just my friend, he’s basically a brother to me and I don’t think that will ever change.
Happy Birthday Luke, I hope you know that we all fucking love you.<3