In fourth grade I met Dourwood Utley.
We bonded over how we wanted to take over for the BFG as official dream catcher, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished we could visit our friends just beyond the lamppost every weekend. If Harry Potter had existed during our tenure in Maplewood Elementary School, Wood would have profiled Dobby The House Elf in his Person You Admired Most report (if you ever want to get him going, start defending Rowling for the narrative necessity of Dobby’s fate – it is similar to watching fireworks going off – only with more expletives).
I tutored him in English, gave him half my sandwich every day (for eight years) and cheered him on in all his soccer games. He glowered at my bullies, buys me mittens every Christmas and enjoys the fact my life is odd.
Wood is a friend extraordinaire whose both best and worst quality is one in the same – he is extraordinarily helpful. His motivation?
He just wants you to be as happy as he is.