The following is an excerpt of:
The Boy Who Dreamed and the Big Bad Wolf Which He Became
By Tex Batmart
If you haven’t been with us from the start, check out Chapter One here
Over the course of his life, there are only four people upon whom Mr. Batmart has ever bestowed the title of “Best Friend.” The earliest recipient was Ty Howell, both Tex’s first friend, and a comrade through the trying times of daycare. His reign came to an end however, in the summer of 1986, when his chose to launch an unsanctioned attack upon the genital region of a boy named Arthur Grant.
It was, in fact, that incident which made the transfer of title all but guaranteed, having created a bond between the two boys not involved in carrying out that terrible attack. And so, from that summer, until one almost ten years later, Tex considered Arthur to be his new best friend. In fact, considering the tenure of their friendship, and the subsequent absence of Ty, in later years, Tex rarely, if ever, mentioned the first boy who had been the best of friends, merely telling new acquaintances (should the topic arise in casual conversation) that Arthur had been his best friend since Kindergarten. And, considering how close the boys became, both only children who came to be like brothers, two families brought together for the celebrations and consolations, it is no wonder that the generally more insignificant friendship of Tex and Ty wasn’t hardly mentioned (or remembered).
The other two people to have held the title (and who continue to do so to this very day) are both named Dave, grew up with one another, and had their own friendship before Mr. Batmart gained the hat trick. When they came to spend time with one another, there was still kicking involved, but usually directed primarily toward the shins.
The first Dave was befriended when the boys were just eight years of age. They had met in class, and hadn’t really thought that much of one another, but over the years, their participation in Cub Scouts brought them together, allowing them to bond over such harrowing incidents as having Dave’s mother as the Den Mother for their troop.
They circled one another in the coming years, frequently sharing classes. They drifted apart a bit in middle school (which is when the two Daves met and befriended one another in band class, while Tex preferred the decidedly less musical route of art, home economics, and a brief tour of duty in seventh grade shop class), but by their second year of high school, they were better friends than ever, having found a common enemy in the public school structure, as well as their inabilities to constructively interact with members of the opposite sex, though this would prove to be less of a problem at first for Dave B.
There wasn’t really any specific moment when Tex knew that Dave was one of his best friends, rather, it was a gradual realization that they’d spent such a large part of their lives together, and had shared so many moments of a common history, that they were bound to one another, for better or for worse, but in a significantly non-romantic context.
Dave F, on the other hand, was almost a sort of happy accident. He and Tex had most likely been introduced several times throughout the years, as they shared many friends in common, but it wasn’t really until the winter of their Junior year in high school that they truly became friends.
It was a dark time in our hero’s life, owing to his growing apathy and run-ins with the law, and when he found a kindred spirit in Dave F, with whom he could discuss grand plans to improve the world or discuss such major issues as death metal or fringe theatre. He’d found someone who would take him on adventures, and help to relieve the boredom of what life had become. They shared poetry with one another, and hung out in graveyards to get drunk.
When Tex moved in with The Woman at the end of his formal education in the public system, Dave F was there to keep him grounded in reality. They made music together, and played Super Nintendo until the break of dawn. And even when the dark days came, and it seemed as though their friendship could not withstand the internal politics of the drug-addled circle to which they both belonged, it somehow endured. And when Dave F called, and asked Tex to move to California, the move was made without a second thought.
Though he was an only child, Tex Batmart found that he had two brothers, with all the benefits and detriments which siblings have been known to offer. In his darkest moments, he felt the pull of friendship, and yet chose to cling to it, as he let everything else fall away. Arthur was a brother, and because of him, Tex always knew that he had another set of parents, for all intents and purposes. Out of all of the boys which he had called “Best Friend”, the only one to slip away was the first to have claimed the title. So it is with recognition of all which he had set in motion with just one rage-filled kick of his small leg, that this author chooses to thank that old acquaintance, and hopes that he is doing well, wherever he may be.
To read the next installment, click here