File Under: Things I’ve Inexplicably Saved

Not long ago Callum and I were looking through some of the bins in my office closet. Carefully tucked in between my high school, college, and graduate school diplomas was this faded drawing.

“What the heck is that?” Callum asked.

“Oh, this one time in college, we were on our way back up to school and Seth said to me, ‘I was gonna bring up a broom, but I didn’t.’ And because I am incapable of not making snarky comments, I told him, ‘Great story. You should write that down and illustrate it.’ And he did.”

Callum was like, “Ooookay.” Now, why I have kept it tucked into a bin of saved high school and college items for more than 20 years, I don’t know. Because it was funny, I guess. Because weird stuff makes me laugh. Because I’m not particularly sentimental about things or nostalgic for much, but odd things strike me as worth hanging onto—like a thing commemorating you being a sarcastic dick to your best friend and having him turn around and do the stupid thing you joked about.

“Wait, you’ve known him since college?” Callum says.

“Since junior high. Since we were 12,” I said.

“And you’re still friends?” Callum asks, knowing full well I spend lots of hours cackling into the phone with Seth.

“Yep. Let this be a lesson to you, as a comic book-reading, wise-cracking tween: Someday soon you may sit down next to some girl and attempt to copy off her homework and then you’ll blink and nearly 30 years will have gone by and you’ll still be friends, still talking about the same garbage you were as kids, laughing like loons.”

The look he gave me seemed to indicate, yeah, hard pass, but really, the real lesson is to find yourself the kind of friends who will not only tolerate your sarcastic mouth but rise to the challenge of it.