I have this friend. His name is Cody. Cody and I became friends in a strange, round about way that started with dating. There are more, sad details to that story that I would love to share interpersonally, but they are not so much for the internet. We dated at a strange turning point in both of our lives. We were both unhealthy, mentally and physically, and we really trying to turn things around for ourselves. Or maybe, just I was. We fell in love. Not so much romantically as within a friendship. And when things ended, they just ended. I wasn't really injured and neither was he. Our friendship ceased for awhile as we both did other things.
We got back in touch after I had really turned my life around and Cody, well, he hadn't. You see, Cody is a douche. Do not mistake me, I love him more than there are words, but that doesn't make him any less of a douche. He is that guy that women date because they believe that with them? It will be different! They can change him, save him, be the one to bring him out of the darkness. I think the reason Cody and my relationship never imploded was because I thought none of those things. I didn't expect our relationship would be one for the ages, it just was. Cody gets involved with these beautiful, independent, loving, caring women who want the best for him - and he messes them up. Pretty badly. I don't think it is intentional, but it always happens. Cody enters, ruins friendships and self esteems, and then is gone. And to ask him, it is always his exgirlfriends' fault. But it isn't. It is because Cody doesn't love himself and doesn't understand why anyone else would love him. So he treats them as he treats himself, badly.
Cody came to visit me in Cusco during a very messy break of a very messy marriage to a very wonderful woman. The mess was entirely Cody's. When I picked him up from the airport, he hadn't eaten or slept in days. We went back to my flat, got him fed and tucked him into my bed until we could check him into the hostel downstairs. He let me gush about the man I had fallen in love with and fell quiet when I warned him not to say one bad word about his wife. I'm not sure why Cody ever listened to me, but he always did. Because while he is a horrible boyfriend and husband to just about every other woman on the face of the earth, he is a good friend. He listens and gives excellent hugs. He is always willing to try new things and loves freedom of any and every kind. He lives by his own set of rules and often forgets to follow them. He is a beautiful, beautiful mess.
I remember asking him to live his life and not to settle for convenience. We were on a plane to Toronto and the flight attendant mentioned he may have had too much to drink. I settled him down and got him another drink - of water, but he didn't need to know that. I told him that sometimes we choose happiness over sorrow, even when we don't feel it. He laughed, "You're probably right, Mal." That was something he said to me a lot, always while laughing. He is the only person in the world I ever let call me Mal. And only because he won't not.
The next time I saw Cody, we were in JFK and we took NYC and Washington DC by storm. We spent the four hour bus ride to DC speaking and laughing loudly in British accents and making up stories about our lives in the UK. We laughed so hard we cried. Cody had been sober for over a month. He was headed back to the midwest and I was headed to Italy. We had a hilarious week of wandering. Before Cody, I had never really met anyone else who wanted to see the world like I did. We tried to touch base when he moved to Germany, but I was already back in the US. So we made plans to potentially buy a sail boat and do a stint around the world in the next year or so if we could save up the money. We couldn't. And by then, I was engaged and Cody was living in Chicago. Our lives were so different! And yet, somehow, still the same.
Right before I got married, Cody and I talked on the phone and he told me he was proud of me. When Rory was born, Cody was on the list of people who received that very first picture and update. "He's so beautiful, Mal. I can't wait to meet him." I think we talked on the phone once since then. And last week we chatted on Facebook about Mark and Rory and I possibly being in Jamaica, so he should try and come visit. It's hard to keep track of Cody, his life is transient. He typically has a girlfriend who reaches out and we become friends, he has wonderful taste in women even if he isn't the best boyfriend. I try to keep in touch with him as much as I can and I always remember to tell him to be nice to people on his birthday, even if they give him gifts. I remind him that the girl he is dating is not the enemy and he should be better. I tell him he looks like crap and to cut his hair, that MCR is coming out with new stuff and that travel is the best thing for a hurting soul.
I asked him how he was last week. He didn't respond, but I know he saw it because Facebook is creepy like that. I probably should have known that meant he wasn't doing well. I found out this morning that Cody will never meet Rory. And words cannot express how heart broken I am. Cody was not the greatest human being, but he was a wonderful and profound friend that I love - loved. I can't help but wonder if there was something that I could have done or said even though I know there isn't. Cody lived life on his terms, freedom was what he lived and died for. I mourn for the loss of such a vibrant and free spirit in the world and I mourn the loss of my friend.
Codybear, I love you. You are missed. 1988-2012