My oldest and closest friend in the world has no diplomas or GED. His wrap sheet is painfully long. His capacity and desire to love and produce love dwarfs my own. I learned love through our friendship. He works for $7 an hour and some change in a factory, just trying to get by. We were born black, poor and in rural, racist Kansas to impoverished mothers who struggled with drug addiction. I’m queer, he’s straight. I’m black, he’s mixed. I was fucked by the system and its violent, elusive, ideologies—he was fucked harder. There is one real difference between us–I got lucky.