The Best Man

The Mufasa to my Scar…

Sometimes, you and a person can be so alike that instead of getting along, you butt heads. I finished school in 2009, at the height of the recession. No one was hiring in the field of my degree and I needed money. Living at home and sleeping on the couch because my baby brother had taken over my former bedroom when I left for college, I decided it would be best to look for a job working overnights. This was so I could sleep in the bed while he was at school during the day. I eventually found a seasonal overnight job at Toys R Us unloading the truck and stocking shelves. When I started, the “Overnight Crew” all seemed like people just all trying their best to get by. There was Arthur, a skinny Jamaican kid from a deep dark village in the Bronx. A short Mexican tomboy named Samantha. Ralph who was the oldest person in the crew and gave sketchy wisdom. Justin, a Puerto Rican kid who tried to preach peace and non violence. Ian who was twenty and already had 4 kids. A Shrek named Blaine, a former Crip named Clyde, and finally a lanky kid who looked like me if I smoked PCP named Dennis. I know I’m missing a few people (Delbra, Anthony, Geronimo, and some kid with one hand), but I’d be here all day naming names.


Being a recent college grad, and the fact that the position was supposed to be seasonal,  I knew that I wasn’t going to be at Toys R Us very long. I ended up being there for 2 and a half years. A LOT longer then I expected. The very first month, I started giving people orders, dictating shit, chilling at what I considered to be a bullshit job. Why work harder when I can tell other people to work harder for me? For some reason this laziness got me noticed by managers and they wanted to promote me. Apparently my skills at telling other people what and how to do things while I stood there and cracked jokes was exactly what they were looking for. It’s no surprise why Toys R Us is no longer in business. This didn’t sit well with a lot of people, particularly Dennis. One day while I was giving him orders to stock a shelf as if I was King Tut, he stopped what he was doing and told me to do it myself! In shock that someone was being insubordinate, I proceeded to stock the shelf but also let out a loud tirade that OTHER PEOPLE were lazy! The managers heard and noticed and I was offered the position of Back of House Specialist. Basically going for $9 and hour to $9.25. I had used Dennis to secure an extra quarter!


I knew what I did wasn’t right. I felt bad, like a piece of shit. One day I went up to Dennis and apologized for my actions. I never took my eyes off of his hands though because he went to a shitty high school and looked as if he fought hard for every meal growing up. To my surprise, Dennis accepted my apology and from then on, we were close. I mean I didn’t want to be there if Dennis didn’t show up. When we had to unload a truck with everyone we would laugh and joke and the work that he was doing as I watched made the time fly by. We would all hang out after work, meet up and chill, but out of them all, Dennis was my guy. After awhile he became my best friend. I eventually left TRU when I moved upstate but I would often call Dennis for advice on things or to just chat. When I visit NYC, he’s usually the first person I call. He has even sat on a greyhound bus to come to visit me multiple times and once I let him drive my Mustang because I wanted to teach him how to drive. He almost killed us in the parking lot of a Walmart. There’s all this open space and for some reason he wants to go 80 miles per hour towards a light pole. Dennis has become like my little brother. We often joke that he’s the Mufasa to my Scar. He gets to be Mufasa because he’s just a naturally good person, while me on the other hand…


When the day came that I wanted to ask HP to marry me, I knew exactly who I wanted in my wedding and who I wanted to stand right beside me. Dennis even made the trip up to help me pick out and choose her ring. He’s been there to give advice for my highest highs and lowest lows. One of the very few people I trust in this world 110 percent. The one good thing that came out of Toys R Us was that I gained a brother, a friend, and now on August 1st 2020, a Best Man…


Dedicated to the Memory of our friend Bolivia Beck who worked with us at TRU and was taken from us way too soon.

2 thoughts on “The Best Man

  1. I really enjoy your writing.
    The anniversary of my sister- MariBeth’s passing will be on the 30th. I will read your beautiful tribute.
    God bless your pending marriage and I pray for your happiness.


    1. Awww! Thank you so much! That means the world to me. Your sister really was a special woman. Without ever meeting me, she touched and meant something to me. I really hope you and your family are doing ok. Be strong and stay safe.


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