Today is my roommate’s birthday, and unfortunately I could not be in LA to celebrate with him because of some crazy viral/eczema outbreak, insurance coverage, being worried about my dad, and just being with my family in general. In general, he is a very easy-going, understanding guy, so it’s not like we have any beef because I’m not there. But regardless, even though he says it’s cool, I feel horrible because he’s one of my best friends.
Anyway, I know you read this from time to time, so it’ll probably be weird to hear me refer to you in third-person, but there are plenty of people that don’t know you but should. Plus it’d probably be weird for me to refer to you in second-person anyway.
ANYWAY, I met Jon on ACA 6 years ago (PYTHONSSSSS WOOO WOOOOO). Two weeks into my freshmen year of college, when I first met him at ACA’s Initiation, and everyone else on ACA, I thought it might be a great idea to go shot for shot with Amy. Amy is Korean. I blacked out and threw up all over myself, my shirt, the apartment carpet, all in front of everyone. Later, I woke up on a couch to Carolyn wiping off all of the permanent marker off of my face. Apparently, while I blacked out, my entire body was sharpied with penises and other things. Way later, I saw a video of Jon and friends drawing on me for a good 20 minutes. I JUST met these people, which was embarrassing, but I also JUST met these people, who decided to sharpie me. As practices went on, I actually thought he didn’t really like me, because I misinterpreted this look that he gave me after finding out that I didn’t make it into one of ACA’s routines after a round of auditions. Then, during our first clubbing performance, the only things in my wardrobe that I would ever wear to a club were a black dress shirt, a white tee, and blue jeans (I didn’t have the visor yet). Jon, on the contrary, had on two dress shirts with both collars popped (not hard to find, Jon is the guy with blue and white dress shirts in the picture). On the subject of my simple outfit…
Jon: Dude do you not want to be noticed or what?
I didn’t really know any better, so I just stood in silence feeling really stupid for only having one dress shirt.
So that was my first impression of him. But some people really surprise you, and by not judging too quickly, I found myself a best friend over the years. Over the course of practicing and partying, I realized that we actually got along really well. Eventually, we choreographed our first piece together (and my first piece of choreography), which, to my surprise, was used in our ’06 All Cal set (watch 3:45).
The history of our friendship is a blur, but after deep conversations, being roommates, parties in 201//202, parties in Rieber Terrace, Krumping night, 10+ Vegas trips, swiping him into the dorms every other day, 4AM hell weeks, performances, advice, girl problems, rooftops, beaches, co-choreography, late nights with oatmeal, music videos, angel/butterfly wings, and all other shit we’ve done, he became one of my closest friends. The night that I broke up with my ex, Jon called every one of my friends in LA over to Amy/Morgan/Jess’s apartment and told me to come by after I broke up with her. To my surprise, there ended up being like 15-20 of my closest friends, all with watermelon, cake, wine, cupcakes. I had no idea he did that until later, and having him and all my friends there on a shitty night like that – that meant a lot to me.
I have had the privilege of living with Jon for almost 4 years now, and even though we have polar opposite schedules, I think living with him gives me a lot of stability. He is one of the hardest workers I know, sacrificing summers to intern in Hong Kong for dirt-cheap, graduating with honors on top of coordinating a competitive dance team, working 80+ hour weeks at JP Morgan and dancing through one of ACA’s toughest years, and lots of other crazy shit that I couldn’t see myself surviving. He is the reason we all get drunk, a master of peer-pressure. In a weird, funny, Jon-like way, it’s as if rejecting a shot or drink from him is an attack on him as a person. But at its core, it’s because he’s so giving and he’s willing to give people a little harmless shit so they end up having an awesome time. Drunk or sober, Jon is one of the few people I feel truly uninhibited around, partially because of how long we’ve known each other, but mainly because he’s always fucking around with me too, building on stupid ass jokes 5 minutes longer than they should normally last.
I could go on sucking dick and praising Jon, and I wouldn’t mind, but I don’t want this to get more corny than it already is. Jon, I don’t tell you this enough, but you are like a brother to me. I have deep respect for you, and in many ways I wish I was more like you. Happy birthday man.
A lot of people come over to our apartment, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them don’t know how to react. If you’ve never been over, the picture you see below is blown up to around 3’x5′ and framed as a centerpiece in our living room. It is inevitably the first thing anyone sees when they walk through our door. Some don’t say anything (which is really awkward), some ask, “why the fuck do you have a picture like that in your living room,” and some people just understand how we are and laugh.
I can’t really see myself posing like this with anyone else and being comfortable enough to put it in our living room, but that’s just how our friendship is.