It's that time of the week, again, where I exploit the fact that I have friends worth talking about. I think it's time to take a break from the wonderful people I know from college and go back a little further in my life; James Joyce. He's so-called because that was how he looked before, with particular glasses on and without having shaved. It was wonderful how much it annoyed him to be in the likeness of one of Ireland's most famous writers.
I think the first thing James Joyce ever said to me was, "Did someone try to ruin a Darren Shan book on you?" Or something along those lines. That was in first year in secondary school. Towards the end of that year, it was James Joyce, who happened to be something of a genius, who came up to me and said, "You're Paul, yes?" Well, it made sense to confirm I was one twin and not the other. He brought me over to a poster in the noticeboard. "Look, you're nominated for Best All-Round Student." I had to sit down.
So, you can probably tell straight away James Joyce had a bit of an affect on me. He'd liked one of my favourite authors and he was the one who told me I was nominated for an award I didn't even know existed in the school. (Note: I did not win, because first years rarely win anything in the school awards; I was just delighted to be nominated!)
In fourth year, James Joyce was the Managing Director of our mini-company. By the time we left school and got our results, he had the tied-first results in the Leaving Cert exams for our year. In all that time, we'd become really good friends, and he was the first person to take an interest in the fact that I wrote. Because of that, he was the first person to get to see a lot of what I wrote.
I think this is the point where I say what I like about someone, right? Okay, I like that he always has time to talk about things. I like that he's really good at understanding people. I like that he can bring a whole new level of wit to a conversation. I like that he's modest about everything. I like that we can have long talks out of the blue, just for the sake of catching up. I like that it's still easy to be friends with him despite not seeing him as much as I see lots of other people. I like that he can see the good in everyone. I like that I've been friends with him for so long and we've never fallen out over anything.
He really is one of my best friends, and I don't know how different my life would be without him in it. It'd be a whole lot less interesting, anyway. I mean, how many people do you meet in a lifetime who taught themselves piano and who can take control of a situation without ever having to resort to violence? How many people do you meet who can be the funniest person in the room one minute and the most serious the next, depending on what's needed?
James Joyce, if you're reading this, don't ever stop being the way you are; the respect you've gotten from so many people just for being yourself is unbelievable. You're an inspiration. I don't care whether or not you agree, because it's the truth. Thank you for being such a good friend.