I remember the first one. We didn't get to spend your birthday together that year, because I was in Oklahoma celebrating the same day with my grandfather. You and him share that day. It's a good day for you two, excellent choice.
We weren't "dating" yet, were just sort of hanging out. But I was obsessed. I didn't know quite what I had found. A partner? A really good friend? A guy who encourages me to buy telephones and firearms? What was this thing I was feeling? I discussed it with my brother. We killed a bottle of Uncle Val's Botanical Gin that night. He told me that I better hang on to you.
So I did. We kept hanging out. We shared experiences. I told my mom about you. One night, after you made me another delicious meal, I finally told you that I love you.
"Well, I love you too."
We snuggled on that cane couch with the worn zebra fabric.
I love you, Patrick. Happy birthday.