This is for Pete who gave me directions when I got so lost en route, the day the highway was closed.
This is for Pete, who was with me in the foxhole that was a nightmarish 70-odd weeks in our careers.
This is for Pete, who manages not to have a breakdown due to flashbacks, every time I shorthand the Virtual African Loop to its abbreviation.
This is for Pete, who was a great teammate even when the terrible boss (cannot call that person a “manager” in any sense) thrust me upon his projects, whether he wanted the help or not.
Who took the ranting phone calls when my projects were being actively dismantled.
Who drove us through a controlled burn, and spilled water every time he got the chance.
Who knew what was coming — and I still remember the hangdog look because he was so sad that I’d be leaving and he couldn’t even warn me.
Who called from his vacation because he was worried about how I was doing, not realizing that I could not have been any more relieved if I’d been medicated to achieve the effect.
Who held the fort after I’d gone even though it had all been so broken that I could feel like I’d escaped, and he was left to pick up the pieces.
For PeteyPete the Monkey Man, of 360 fame, my longtime friend, one-time sanity-buddy, and today: the birthday boy!
I hope it’s happy, my friend!