“A bond between you, built on laughter...”
Everyone has that one friend who loves to laugh. They laugh until their stomach hurts and their eyes water. It’s so contagious that you can’t but help to laugh along. Then before you know it, you have strangers staring at you two in public wondering what in the f**k is going on. No one in the world gets the joke, just you two. A bond between you, built on laughter. I’ve known Norris all my life. We were in the same kindergarten class in elementary school (Mrs. Dukes). We lived in the same project building on Webster Ave (me on the 18th floor, him on the 17th). And when my mom’s moved out of the projects to Franklin Ave, his mom’s did the same thing and again we ended up in the same building (me on the 4th floor, him on the 3rd). Norris loves to laugh, loves to joke, loves to smile. Things are just amusing to him. Even if the situation is serious, Norris is never worried, and always finds the humor. One time we were all going out to a school dance and we had to take the train. Well as we hopped the turnstile (as we usually did because we rarely paid), I went over and my friend Shawn went under. This caused me to land both feet squarely in the middle of Shawn’s back, leaving two footprints in his yellow jacket. Shawn was furious. Like wanted to fight. I was trying to be serious and apologize but I kept laughing.. because Norris wouldn’t stop laughing! This only infuriated Shawn more and he didn’t talk to me for like a week. But I still had a good time because even though that story was about 15 years ago, Norris and I still laugh about it to this day. Just us. Hysterically.
Norris is talented. Much like my other friend Kris Byrd who I wrote about previously, Norris’s talent comes in word play as rhymes and metaphors are his gift. He’s a rapper who goes by the street and stage name “Kannon”. But unlike Kris who is more of a street hustler, and even with a name like “Kannon”, Norris’s hustle often comes with a W2. Don’t get me wrong, he knows that world, and he’s comfortable there. But for as long as I’ve known him, Norris has always had a straight job. He started off as most people did, fast food and retail. But for the past 10 years or so he’s been working at a facility of special needs patients. That’s right, Kannon is a caregiver. A guardian. And he loves it. He often tells me stories about the patients he takes care of, and as usual, it ends up with us dying of laughter. Another thing Norris loves to do is dress. Clothes are his hobby. I have a lot of clothes. I go shopping all the time. But it’s NOTHING in comparison to how much sneakers and jeans, how many coats and jackets, how many outfits in general Norris has. All you have to do is visit his social media and gaze upon one of the thousand of photos of himself he has, Kannon Kardashian.
In all seriousness, in this life, you don’t get many people who you can call friend or brother for more than 30 years. Thats rights, for more than 30 years, I have had the joy to laugh at things no matter how big or small with someone who I look to for advice, for insight, for tips, for knowledge. He has never turned me down or away, even when he was mad me. And then even when he was mad at me, for whatever reason, as I do tend to annoy people, we’ve always been able to eventually laugh at that too. A few years back, I had heard that he was in the hospital after being attacked and stabbed in a violent altercation. I had never been more afraid in my life that I would and could lose someone so close to me. Luckily Norris survived. When I called the hospital to talk to him, he told me some heroic story that I couldn’t remember. But I do remember how good it was to hear his voice, and how he was laughing even from a hospital bed. Not a lot of people from my neighborhood could make it to my wedding, Norris was there and I was so grateful for that. Drinks in both hand. Dressed like he had a photoshoot after. And of course, laughing. Smiling.