While the other kids ignored Bryan, I was drawn to his peculiarity. He eschewed the Mario Kart marathons and Saved By The Bell reruns that were ubiquitous at the time. He was an outsider artist — a playground Daniel Johnston.
One day I decided to sit next to Bryan in art class. We became fast friends. He showed me the works of Philip K. Dick, and I taught him what a touchdown was. He introduced me to the propulsive rhythms of Trinidadian Steel Pan music, and I gave him my extra chicken fingers (when I had them).
Fourth period became my favorite period.
Then, one day, Bryan approached me at lunch — something he'd never done before. In front of all my friends, he asked me if I'd like to come over to his house and recreate our favorite scene of Jodorowsky's surrealist masterpiece The Holy Mountain (you know the one).
"Jodor...who?" I replied, before calling him a disparaging name and telling him to buzz off while my friends looked on incredulously. Bryan walked off down the hall alone, our laughter echoing behind him.
The next day, fourth period rolled around, and Bryan was nowhere to be seen. I later discovered that he was awarded an ultra-exclusive artist's residency in Istanbul, where juice box art was all the rage at the time. Today, he's an international art star who's shown his work in London, Paris, and New York. He probably doesn't remember my name.
Judging Bryan is a regret I carry with me to this day. That's why when I saw this video of a giant capybara and a group of baby huskies playing together in perfect harmony, I broke down in tears.
It's a metaphor, don't you see? Two completely different animals setting aside each other's glaring differences to have a grand old time together. Bryan is the capybara. My friends and I are the puppies, except with way more acne. If these animals can not only coexist, but also get along, then we as a people can too.
Watch the proof that everything's gonna be alright below. (Bryan, if you're reading this, call me!)