I have not bought you many presents this year. There will be a good meal, and cake, and something to open, but I fear not up to my usual standard. But though I've been preoccupied lately, though neither of our birthdays quite seemed real until they'd actually begun, I hope you know this does not mean that you have been absent from my thoughts. Even if I've been too scattered to say it properly, you are the person I can talk to when I want to be alone, the person who knows when and how to help me even if I won't ever ask, who strings my days together into a life, and I am grateful for it always.
Little is more precious than someone who knows you deeply and cares for you without reservation. A friendship such as ours does not require constant tending, having grown wild and tall for over a decade, but it is good to remember that the habit of companionship rises not from simple repetition but from the ground we offer it. Tendrils of shared stories and mutual favoritism creep around us, bit by bit, until they have marked out a circle in which neither of us can be anything but ourselves, a place we carry with us even twelve timezones apart.
Thank you for being my best friend, and also for feeding me, and doing my laundry, and listening even when I have nothing to say. I know I have been significantly less fun than a barrel of monkeys lately (and take a moment to consider just how much of a mess they'd make in there, and what it might do to your apartment when they got out), but I am heartily looking forward to running for the hills with you, and shall happily ply you with mashed potatoes containing at least four types of dairy product. Happy birthday.
With much love,