That’s a line from U2 classic anthem “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and is how I always remembered Todd’s birthday. U2 was, after all, his favorite band and so the connection was a natural one.
While I hadn’t spoken to Todd for too damn long before he passed away, this is his first birthday since that tragic event. He would have been 42. But he’s not.
I’ve struggled to come to terms with living in a world that no longer has Todd in it for the last several months. It’s still not something I can completely, logically comprehend or process. Even though it had been a long time since we’d hung out, I always knew he was out there and one of these days I’d call him and leave a Hunt For Red October quote in a voicemail and we’d pick back up where we’d left off.
One story that I’ve told often is around a time he and I met up before an Eric Clapton concert. My brother was going to drive us but Todd and I decided to meet up at Billy Goat Tavern downtown. I was there first and as soon as he walked in we threw our arms around each other in our traditional Golden Child greeting.
For the next two hours we sat at the bar drinking Schlitz Dark on draft and tipping 50% each round, which earned us a free round every third or so because we were also chatting with the bartender and he saw we were having a good time. We talked about our families and our jobs and our lives and it was, as it always was with Todd, the most natural flowing conversation I’d ever had.
By the time Jake came to get us we were eight beers deep and having a great time. We could have skipped the concert and kept going until 11:00 without missing a beat.
That is, sadly, one of my few “adult” memories of Todd. I can’t remember, for alcohol-apparent reasons, everything we talked about. But the lingering sense of the chemistry and comrade roe betweeen us sticks with me to this day.
Happy birthday, Todd.