My dearest Flophouse,
Forgive me for not making a wonderful, funny video tribute to you on your birthday like you did for me. I wanted to use your birthday as an opportunity to thank you for all the ways that you’ve touched my life, but I’m such a sentimental dork, I can’t do it. I sat in front of my video camera today doing take after take, and each time I tried, I got too choked up to deliver.
Hedgeballs, ahem. Please forgive me for writing this down instead of saying it on camera. You deserve a video, not a chickenshit blog.
You are a woman of so many remarkable gifts, it’s hard to know where to start to sing your praises. I just consider myself lucky that you feel compelled to share your gifts online. You’re an incredible comic actor and performance artist and painter, and although you don’t think of yourself as one, I think you’re a damn good writer too. The thing about sharing gifts like yours in this online medium is that you can never be entirely sure who’s watching and whom you’re touching with what you do.
For the last couple of years, my sister and I have had a hell of a time. Essentially, our lives were on hold while we watched our brother decline and then die. For months before we went online ourselves we were watching your videos. Long before you knew either of us existed, you were making us laugh, making us forget, giving us stuff to talk about besides It.
I think that people who make others laugh often don’t fully understand the humanitarian value of what they do. I think you understand it though. What you may not understand is how much you’ve come to be cherished by many people online who’ve been touched by your performance art in that way that mends broken hearts. I’m one of them. My sister is, too.
But what I want to thank you for the most is giving me a day that I now think of as one of the favorite days of my life. The day that you took my sister and me to lunch and gave us a walking tour of your artwork and then made a little video with us was perfect in every way. I didn’t know at the time that it was a perfect day. It came to be perfect for me later when I realized just how important the day was.
You made us laugh that day, a lot, and you treated us like royalty. You couldn’t have given better medicine to either of us, that day after my brother’s funeral. You were just indescribably kind to us and I’ll always be grateful for it.
So thank you, Flophousepoodle. I’ve come to know you as a remarkably brilliant, funny, gifted artist, and because you also have a heart of gold, it’s especially appropriate to offer those age-old birthday wishes for many happy returns. One of the few spiritual beliefs I hold is that what goes around, comes around. There’s a lot coming your way. Happy Birthday, Flophouse.