It's officially midnight. The day of one of my best friend's weddings. Though friends, and Iona graduates, with both bride and groom, Josh holds a special bond that few friends of mine have, none actually. It still baffles me that it was this season, Fall 2002 when he and I first met. Iona freshmen trying to find our way in the world and our way around campus. He and Rudi were living in the Marriott acquiring the lowest GPA of their college careers, and I was busy in Loftus 9th floor, navigating a basketball player.

Some way, some how our paths crossed. Actually three paths intersected, Josh's, Rudi's, and mine. As much as I can try to, I can't write about knowing Josh, and not write about knowing Rudi. College was us, 'The Triad'. The tripod. We were inseparable. In many ways, even with Rudi's death last year, we still are.  Somewhere in the center was an energy between the three of us that kept us balanced when we were together.

If I had to peg me as the creative one, and Rudi as the business one, Josh was the political one. It was these three assets, bridged with his soon to be wife's no non-sense attitude that formed the Executive Board of Iona's Council of Multi-Cultural Leaders (CML). We ran shit, to put it lightly. And what was so ironic about that senior year was that love was floating the air. Josh and Chanel booed up. And Rudi and I gave it our own try. 

Seasons changed, loves fused and parted, years went by, and I moved to Japan. One morning I woke up to an email from Rudi: 'Yo V, call me as soon as you get this. Josh is going to ask Chanel to marry him." Before going to work, I was on the phone with Rudi and getting the low down. We were concerned, not knowing if she'd say yes or no. So we devised our own secret plan of 'save Josh' in case she said no and prayed for the best. Rudi was able to make it to the engagement and I was not.

Ironic, as now I am able to make it to the wedding, and Rudi is not. (that sentence opened the flood gates. f@%k.)

Fast forward to today, and later this afternoon I'll be on a train to Long Island to watch love conquer all, after 7, neary 8 years of dating. Traveling has made it hard to be in town for friend's weddings. I had to be here for this one. No question.

Josh, you are one of the most endearing, loving, sensitive, and forgiving men I have ever met in my life. Your energy is so nurturing and fun. Your laugh is priceless, and your heart is golden. You show me, in being a good man and friend, that it is pure fallacy that there are 'no good men out there.' You embody a sense of values and tradition that I revere at times. And most of all, you have been a support system for me during all that life has brought during and after college, including the death of our friend. I love you and support you and Chanel with every ounce of my being. You have chosen a gorgeous bride. And she has chosen a no more deserving man. I promise, when the time comes, I'll be on the speed dial for babysitting.

Love you both.