I do not know if I have ever really talked about my friend Denny. He was a cool guy. The kind of friend you want. Always there for support. There for a laugh and there just to be there. As most things do, it ended. Him and I are no longer friends. Not sure what caused the falling out but it happened. It was just like that. One day we are hanging out and having fun. The next day he is gone. He vanished from my life and since that day, he was nothing but a memory. Just another passing moment in my life that filled that void we all have. I think about him, just like I think about other past friends that were here and now they are not. No one ever asks about him but I still wait for some familiar topic to be brought up and when time allows it, I’ll gladly share with someone the crazy antics Denny and I shared during our brief friendship.
I still don’t remember how we met. Not sure how him and I became friends. Maybe it was through someone else. Maybe they knew him and that’s how Denny and I met and our bromance started. I want to say he knew another friend of mine. I know Denny worked at the hospital. He was a nurse or maybe an orderly. I think I am thinking of his mom and dad. I can’t remember what he did but whatever he did do for a living, he was sitting on a mountain of cash. Being so long ago, I have forgotten some basic information about his life. It’s a problem I have. I have a horrible time remembering someone’s age. I don’t even know the ages of more than half the people in my family. Think the oldest is 44 or something. Maybe 40. Hell, he might be 30 and younger than me. That’s how bad I am with ages. No matter. I want to get back to Denny.
Denny did have a younger sister named Madison or Maddie for short. Denny wouldn’t ever admit to it but his sister was kind of promiscuous. Okay, she was a slut and if you went to high school with her, chances are you rode the Maddie train. You may also be the father but that is still uncertain. Maddie was never shy about her sex life. She fornicated with just about everyone, even some poor sap I worked with. Actually, they never did have sex. She says they did but the cowboy with the gray boots swears up and down he never did anything with her. He never, like Maddie said, climbed through the window to her bedroom for some afternoon and evening delight.
The problem exploded with Denny started threatening this kid and telling him he’ll be dead if they ever met. Of course, the innocent cowboy got scared and rodeo’ed his way to mommy and daddy to claim his innocence that he never partook in a heterosexual version of Brokeback Mountain. They believed him. They want the threats from Denny to end. They pulled out the white pages and looked through all the Caprice’s listed to find which one belonged to Denny. They called each number and each time they failed. None of them in the phone book belonged to Denny.
With no chance of contacting him, the harassment from Denny was brought to the attention of managers at work. The cowboy explained his situation and mentioned how worried he was about the threats Denny made towards him. This was becoming something of a serious matter. If Denny didn’t stop with these accusations and threats against the cowboy’s safety, he might end up in jail. I was pulled aside by a manager and he questioned me about Denny and if these threats were real. I was shocked and was a little bewildered. I don’t recall Denny ever making threats to the kid personally. I know Denny came to me and my friends about the cowboy. He mentioned his anger towards the cowboy. He always told us to relay the message, like we were in some mafia movie. The manager told me to tell Denny that he is no longer allowed in the store and to end the threats towards the cowboy employee or they will involve the police. My other friends were questioned the same day but before the next was pulled out there, I told them what to say and to get our stories straight. We couldn’t get things mixed up. We couldn’t mess this up and ruin it all. Not because we were worried about getting Denny in trouble or getting us in trouble, we were more worried about people finding out.
We couldn’t afford people to find out that Denny, this class act of person, wasn’t real. Denny was fake. We made him up. Denny Caprice was the creation between three people one boring, drunken night. He was named Denny Caprice. Denny had a mother and a father. He had a little sister, who I mentioned above. Maddie was a slut. She attended the same school as the cowboy. Funny about that cowboy kid. Denny or us never called him to harass him about fooling around with his little sister. We just kept telling him that Denny is mad and he said he’ll do this and he’ll do that if you don’t stop messing with his little sister. He did freak out and he did tell us his parents and him did in fact, look in the white pages for his telephone number to contact him or his parents. The story about getting the manager involved is true. We were pulled aside one by one to get a stern talking to about Denny.
Denny wasn’t real but people started saying they saw him or they talked to him on the phone. We even tossed a party one day. He arrived and so did his friends. But the party was just us three friends, trashing my own place to make it look like a wild party and the aftermath of Denny and his friends. Some people showed up later but of course, they should up right after Denny left. They didn’t question it but did say how they wished they were there for the party and to meet Denny. One did call Denny but the number he dialed was my sister’s number. I told her to answer but not to talk. Just answer and breathe heavy. Funniest part of that call was what my friend told me. He said that he talked to Denny and Denny apologized for the mess and his friends. Nice to see that a fake, nonexistent person is having conversations with people.
Denny was a great guy. We breathed life into him and he evolved into a real person…sort of. People never saw him face to face but when Denny would come into our work, we always pointed out a person leaving at that just very moment to be him. We’d point and be all, “there he goes! that one in the black shirt!” Our co-workers would see a person leaving in a black shirt and because we said it was Denny, they assumed it was him. They would start telling people they saw Denny. Not in person, but they did say ‘yeah, I saw Denny once.” Denny was out of high school and he drove a red mustang. His dad bought it for him because his dad has money. His dad was a doctor and his mother was a nurse. Denny’s dad, who I don’t think ever really had a name, smoked a pipe. He liked to get the paper in his robe, wearing black socks, while smoking a pipe. Denny’s dad was suave. If anything, he could have been a cooler, sexier, Don Draper. We never did give his mom a good story. She was just there. We did create Maddie though. She was quite the character.
I could feel bad for the cowboy and the grief we put him through. But it was fun. To know that someone who isn’t real is becoming real does give you a sense of accomplishment. Take Te’o for example and this whole fake girlfriend. Chick isn’t even real and people are swearing up and down that she is. Denny wasn’t real and people started to believe he was. Friends started seeing him and one even “talked” to him one night. Not sure why he lied but we just went with it because it just made the whole charade better. Denny is no longer with us. He’s gone. Don’t worry about him. He wasn’t killed. We didn’t murder him. He just faded away and was never heard from again. He was a good friend. We had fun with him. He almost got us fired. We had a party for him. People really believed he was real and when we did come out with the truth to some people, they didn’t believe us. They were dead certain he was real and that they met him and hung out with him. For a fake person, I think he was cooler than me and led a much more exciting life.
Thank you, Denny Caprice. You showed me how gullible people can be.