Friday was the birthday of Nathan Tamayo, my #1 Fan. He started out as an Internet Stalker (but only in the best of ways, I assure you), posting tons of comments on my blog. Some time later, we got to talking, and he graduated to Internet Boyfriend status (i.e., that guy who I can get to do things for me by batting my eyelashes and asking sweetly). Eventually, we learned enough about each other that we developed a kind of rapport, and he started calling me "jei-jei", which is Mandarin for "big sister."
Obviously, the boy is smitten with me.
Clearly, he's not right in the head. :)
But that's okay, because most of my best friends are crazy, too.
Recently, Nathan celebrated his 25th birthday (Go, Quarter-Century Boy!) and he did something very sweet: he gave a book to those of us who made a difference in his life, thanking us and explaining why we're special to him. With his permission, I'm going to quote some relevant passages from his book, Superheroes, or: You Know the Old Saying.
From the introduction:
I don't know how to thank you all so much for keeping me up and helping me out, so I thought something like this would be a fun way to do it. I hope you enjoy it, at least a little bit.
The following pages are a testament to your abilities, weaknesses, and your friendship. Few people made it into these pages, and I want to let you know ahead of time that while some of you come later, some of you have less space, and some of you are not in it at all, but you all important.
If you are holding a copy of this book in your hands: I could not have survived without all of you.
From my entry at the back of the book:
NAME: Erin Palette
POWER: Write. Lord, can she write.
DEFECT: Chaotic Neutral
SOUL OF: Eric, Goddes of Discord
Ah, jei-jei. The older sister I enver wanted or asked for, but got anyway. I found you through your writing and it still inspires me to this day. You're always looking for more and more readers, but I just want you to read the following:
I want to become a writer not just because I want to be like Joss Whedon, but also because, like him, I want to touch lives. If I can just touch one life, change one heart, open one pair of eyes, I will feel successful as a writer.
You've touched my life with your writing.
So, in my eyes, you are a success. I'm sorry it won't pay your bills, but I hope it means something to you.
With that said, you're chaotic. I never know what to expect of you, and that's why I have chosen your Soul to be that of Eris. Sometimes I think you do and say things just to see my reaction.
Thanks for the apple.
Now some of you may think it the height of crassness for me to post my own laudation in this blog (and you're probably right), but I didn't do it to stroke my ego. I did it because Nathan made me a wonderful, special gift, and I wanted to make sure as many people as possible can see it. This is the equivalent of me going, "Hey everyone! Let me show you what I got!"
What makes this gift extra-special -- like it needed a reason -- is that I've never told him, or anyone else on this blog, but I always wanted to be a superhero. I always wanted to touch lives, and save them, but I couldn't figure out a way to do that within my span of limited abilities, so I became a writer instead.
And here he goes and says that I'm a superhero because of my writing, that it touched his life and saved him. That is the most wonderful and perfect gift I've ever received, and I don't think anything will ever top that.
I'm crying now, Nathan, but they're tears of joy. I'm crying big-sister tears. Thank you so much for being my little brother.
Now I'm going to leave you with two words of wisdom, one from me and one from Eris.
When Hypoc was through meditating with St. Gulik, he went there into the kitchen where he busied himself with preparing the feast and in his endeavor, he found that there was some old tea in a pan left standing from the night before, when he had in his weakness forgot about its making and had let it sit steeping for 24 hours. It was dark and murky and it was Hypoc's intention to use this old tea by diluting it with water. And again in his weakness, chose without further consideration and plunged into the physical labor of the preparations. It was then when deeply immersed in the pleasure of that trip, he had a sudden loud clear voice in his head saying "it is bitter tea that involves you so." Hypoc heard the voice, but the struggle inside intensified, and the pattern, previously established with the physical laboring and the muscle messages coordinated and unified or perhaps coded, continued to exert their influence and Hypoc succumbed to the pressure and he denied the voice.
The hardest part of growing up is learning to get over yourself and get out of your own way. Once you've done that, you can do anything.
Happy Birthday, di-di. *HUGS*