14 April 2010
There’s been at least a couple of times in this blog I’ve written about a guy named Joe Q. The “Q” is short for Quattrucci and “Joe” is short for Joseph. Among those who know Joe, almost any would agree that he can be loud and like most of us, occasionally obnoxious.
He’s also a complete and total, one-in-a-million kind of character. I’ll put it this way: A lot of people out there know Jamie Silva, a Riverside native who took the Townie football team to a state championship before having a fantastic athletic career at Boston College. Today, he plays for the Indianapolis Colts. I never knew Jamie that well, we played on a couple youth sports teams together when we were young, but I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him and from all reports he is one of the most revered Townies in recent memory.
Before he played in The Super Bowl, however, Jamie was Prom King runner-up his senior year of high school. The winner? Joe Q.
More important than any of this, however, Joe Q is one of the most loyal people you will ever meet and one of the best friends a guy like me could ever ask for. We first met when I was 12 or 13, I don’t remember, but I was young. His grandmother (the late, famous and absolutely fantastic ‘Mamar’) and aunt had moved in next door to us a few months earlier.
For a couple days a week, Joe Q would spend the afternoons at his grandma’s until his mom picked him up from work. We both liked basketball and video games. We also both liked Little Caesar’s pizza.
We hit it off instantly.
For the remainder of my adolescent years there were few people, if any, I was closer to than Joe Q. Though he would only come by the neighborhood a couple times a week during the school year, he was around every day in the summer, long before either of us had jobs or other responsibilities. We played plenty of basketball down at “The Gully,” and we went to two national duckpin bowling championships together, coming in second one year as a doubles team.
For the record, Joe Q was a much, much better bowler than I.
Between all of this, we played a lot of Chrono Trigger. For those who don’t know, Chrono Trigger was an RPG released for Super Nintendo in the late 90s. The game has since developed an extremely devout cult following due in no small part to the fact it was incredibly well made. Just think about this: Chrono Trigger was a SNES game that had more than 10 different endings.
Fallout 3 can’t even say that.
I can’t tell you how many times Joe Q and I beat the game together. I don’t think we saw every ending, but we saw a whole lot of ‘em. We would spend hours going through the game time and time again, drinking Fresca and laughing about a whole series of inside jokes that wouldn’t make sense to anyone except us no matter how I tried explaining it. (If Joe Q happens to be reading this though, I have one word – Frog.)
Anyway, around our freshmen years of college, Joe Q and I had a brief falling out over the stupidest thing in the world (a girl) but that’s long behind both of us. Nowadays, I see Joe Q once in a blue moon, usually stopping by next door (his mom and his aunt live there now, two wonderful people who are good friends to my entire family) or at the occasional function, like a graduation party.
Maybe it’s odd, maybe it’s not, but it’s never awkward to see Joe Q. I think when you spend the kind of time together at the ages we were, it doesn’t matter how long you go without seeing each other, you pick up where you left off. Like riding a bike or something.
Whenever we do see each other, we go over work schedules and try a find a day we could get together for a drink. We usually leave things with an “I’ll call you Wednesday” or “Next week looks good,” then Wednesday or next week comes and the phone doesn’t ring on either end because there are jobs and girlfriends and all the other things that make adult-life different from childhood.
I may not see Joe Q as much as most other people in my life, but he’s a great guy and I know that no matter what type of path this life leads me down, there will always be those days every so often where me and my old friend get to kick back for a few minutes and remember kicking the crap out of Lavos with Luminaire.
By George Morse