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At least this time you didn’t find me huddled in the doorway of another failed business, where a homeless man has slept a few nights in a row, crying. I didn’t need tissues this time.

You wiped my tears away with that mason jar of wickedly strong cold-brewed coffee; its caffeine numbed the lingering pain. The warm shower broke down any tension in my body and flushed the dull, dead cells of the past down the drain. This moment was going to be the start of something special. You approved my hair that is held in place with bobby pins and modeling paste. You pinned up my dress and chose my flash tats to accesorize my newly exfoliated, radiant skin. As we mixed the winning concoction of trash can punch and decorated the sidewalk with chalk, I felt so fortunate to call you my friend. Very rarely do we have time as adults to devote to a birthday shenanigan filled with a unicorn pinata, trashcan punch, glow sticks, sabering of champagne, college football, bouncy water slides, a 25 pound cake, and the most loving people in the city.

I would describe my 20s as a rollercoaster of adventures that sometimes left me barely hanging onto life at times, only to be momentarily revived by phases of euphoria that uninvited spectators would be jealous of. Sometimes I would look back to relive the ups and downs and twists and turns, but only after waiting in line again. The friends that held my hand and cradled my heart through countless cycles remain because they love every part of me. You are one of those friends.