At some point during a 1998 Sammy Hagar concert, between the beers and the whiskey, the hugs with my brother and the singing along to "Three Lock Box", I had an epiphany. I don't recall where I heard it said, but I was suddenly reminded that we might have more than one soul mate in this world. There are the soul mates that are our true loves. I am a blessed man to have found Julie and had my life completed in that way. Then there are those people who complete us as friends or brothers.
I'm not sure why this thought came to me in the middle of the Universal Amphitheater or why, as I was screaming, "When eagles fly-iiii!" that I thought of Steve. But he stayed on my mind for the duration of the concert and the short drive home. After Budd had dropped me off outside our apartment, I kneeled in the bushes, puked, then stumbled my way up the stairs to Julie. I stank so bad from cigarette smoke, sweat and liquor that I didn't even consider sleeping in our bed. She shook her head at me ("you'll be sorry in the morning") and kissed me goodnight.
But I couldn't sleep. I had to share my epiphany with Steve. So, at 12:00 Pacific time, I dialed him up in North Carolina. Yeah. I woke him up. And yes, he patiently listened to the warbled mumblings of a drunken fool.
"Steve", I said, "I had this realization tonight... an epiphany" (which I'm sure came out 'epiphanry'). "Our souls are big things, man. And it takes a lot to fill out those souls. If our souls have been wandering all over the universe to finds a soul mate, who's to say that only there is only one person out there that completes someone else. I know, I know, I'm drunk, dude, and I know how this must be sounding and all, but dude, if a soul mate is someone who knows you inside and out, someone who completes a part of your life, why can't that person be a friend or, like, a sibling, or somethin, you know? Okay, so hear me out, man, and, like, I'm soooo sorry to be calling you at... oh, shit, man, it's like two o'clock there. Dude! I didn't think you'd really answer. Man, I'm sorry. huh Oh, so, then, like, I figured it all out, while Sammy was singing his ass off tonight. Dude, Sammy ROCKS! But, uh, anyway, I was just thinking, and, like, don't take this wrong, but, like, you're that guy. My best friend. You're like one of my soul mates, man. I'm a better person cause of you, Steve, and besides Jules and Budd, there is no one else I trust more than you, man. You are my brother, man. Does any of this make sense? Shit, I'm sorry for calling soo late. I shouldn't have had that Johnny Walker. Okay. Okay. Oh-kay. That's all. Tell your wife I say hello."
As always, Steve was gracious about all of this. When he spoke the next day, he was actually concerned that I wasn't sick. And he was flattered.
While some people would have fled from the lunatic on the other end of the phone, he knew where I was coming from.
In life we are lucky to find just one person that we can confide in and share all of life's wonderful moments and horrible happenings. I have Julie. She is my light always guiding me through the darkness. And I have Steve. A moral compass. A shoulder to lean on. Someone I can tell everything to and someone I trust with my life.
A friend in every sense of the word.