Once upon a time, on some godforsaken rusted piece of debris (also referred to as a 'bus') in Bolivia, there was two young Australians.
These piss poor visa-less Aussies, with Spanish so incoherent they sounded like a 1970's car trying to start, were trying to get across into Paraguay.
After being held at the border for a few hours, after drug searches, sniffer dogs, pleading and 'playing dumb', the girl starts crying hysterically.
Now, I'm talking hysterical.
You know when you stop being able to speak two words without heaving your lungs up through your throat?
'Asthmatic hyena' is probably the closest description I can think of.
As this girl was crying, a German backpacker they had befriended, came to their aid.
He bailed them out with the promise that they would repay him at the next town. He was giggling too, later telling the young pair that they were let go for two reasons:
1. The Border Security just wanted to make some extra money.
2. Because the next bus back was in 9 hours and they were genuinely terrified that they would have to put up with a completely inconsolable crying girl for that long with no confidence whatsoever that she would stop.
Now that's a friend. A friend will bail their mate out.
But the best friend? Well that's the one sitting beside you, the one who got busted with you, the one who later is caught thanking the sweet Lord that women are fucking retarded in every country.
So here's to that best friend. A toast to that extra special ('special') person in our lives. I'm saying Happy Birthday to mine today. To the one I get drunk with, cry with, laugh with, get stuck in military custody with and can be myself with. To the one who knows my Maccas order, who knows when we're going to watch a movie, to put it on for me because I have no fucking clue what a HDMI cable is and may as well be a device used in A Clockwork Orange for all it concerns me. But I don't need to know, because I have you.
Friends have always been there when I said I needed them. But you were there even when I said nothing, when you simply knew.
Even though we are being separated, if you're ever afraid of looking at the past, or if the future seems distant and scary, remember to stop and look at the now, that even if we are tens of thousands of kilometres away from each other, I will always be there with you, to see you climb your mountains and to see you fall, undoubtedly stopping to pee my pants laughing and call you a dickhead before helping you up... But that's just me.
We spent our 18ths together...
And our 21st...
And I know we'll be eating that god awful cherry flan that you make at our 50th.
Happy Birthday xx