Endgame: We’re still Side by Side

by Taco Joe
On May 2, 2008 my life changed forever.
 
On that day, my mom, her best friend, her little brothers and I a boy of 9 years old, we’re introduced to The Invincible Iron Man.
 
I remember it like it was yesterday. We sat in the back row, I had a Coke Ice-e and a bag of popcorn, my mom was sitting on my left side. I don’t remember ever being that into a movie while I was watching it.
 
When the movie ended, my mom wanted to get up and leave, but I’d heard from some guys at school that we should stay for the credits, because something really cool was going to happen. I convinced her to stay, and that’s when we saw Fury walk out of the shadows, and officially kick off the Infinity Saga.
 
Over the next few years I would have several more experiences like this.
 
It was summer of 2011, school was winding down and I convinced my dad to take me to see Thor. I was always a big fan of all things ancient Myth, so Thor was a shoe in to be one of my favorites. Believe it or not, I loved every minute of this movie. How Thor was kind of a jerk, all of Asgard, just the whole story line was so cool. At this point we had only really seen Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow, and War Machine, now there was this whole other world of gods, and magic, it just got so much bigger and I loved it. My friends and i gabbed about it for hours for the rest of the school year.
 
I had no idea what was to come that summer.
 
July 19, 2011
Since my dad didn’t totally hate Thor, I figured that he would be more than happy to take me to see Captain America. It was everything that he liked, a WWII movie, a Patriot fighting the Nazi’s, and it was another Marvel movie to me so i was excited. As that movie went on i fell in love with everything Cap stood for. He was honor, he was good true patriotism, he was just everything that we should strive to be. Up until this point Iron Man had always been my guy, but summer of 2011 i became a full fledged member of team Cap.
 
Then came the next summer.
 
It was a Friday May 4th 2012, my friends Josh, Damian, and I had convinced our parents to let us sleep over at Damian’s house so we could stay up all night and talk about how awesome The Avengers had been.
 
While we sat in that theater, full of hope, childlike wonder, passion for something that had brought us together over the course of our short lives, and just such pure excitement, we had no idea what was to come.
 
We loved every single second of this movie. We laughed, we cheered, we screamed, and we almost exploded when Bruce said the immortal words “That’s my secret Cap, I’m always angry.”
 
At the time, and still it was one of the best memories I have of my younger years. During that movie, we had seen our entire childhoods finally come together. We knew that there was more to come, and I’m getting chills just thinking about how awesome that moment was. I’m currently tearing up remembering those feelings, and how great nights like that where back then.
 
Since then, me and my friends and family have been fortunate enough to have plenty of moments like that. There’s times like how I saw Iron Man 3 5x in theaters, Condos with the Dondos, ridiculing our friend Anthony for bringing a girl to the premiere of Amazing Spider-Man 2, camping for Easter, “Hey look a dead body,” when i broke Tillie’s nose, the night we spent in the hotel we stayed at for The Force Awakens that define each of our childhoods. Movies like Avengers and Star Wars, and even the new Karate Kid where often the thing that got me and my group of friends through the school year. We’d find out when it comes out, we’d beg our moms to buy tickets, we’d beg my mom to have a sleepover at my house the night it came out, and then we’d have the time of our lives waiting, and anticipating the night that it would come. I’ll hold memories like this in my heart forever, I’ll hold those seven other guys I spent every waking second of my childhood and adolescence with there too I’ll be forever grateful to Stan Lee, Kevin Feige, and our parents for letting us have the best childhood any group of guys could ever have.
 
We won’t be able to all see it together tomorrow night when Endgame premieres, and that’s okay. We’re all doing our own things. Lopez, who I met in fifth grade, is killing it as a Cavalry Rider in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M. Dondo, my oldest friend, is still the smartest, sweetest, hardest working person I know. Romo, who came to our small private school in sixth grade, is a working man in the assembly the line at the Toyota plant here in town (I’m actually going to the movie with him.) Anthony is living his best life up at UT and loving every minute of it. Devin, who we met in high school but quickly adopted as one of our own, finally started his band and is day lighting as a Chase employee. Jonah, who believe it or not I despised at first just passed his Sheriff’s exam and will be Johnny Law by the time I graduate. Damian is at UTSA with me doing his thing with Cyber Security, it’s been a while since we talked but I know he’s just as excited as I am for tomorrow, and I know he’s destined to do great things. All the while I’ve been with the Spirit of San Antonio. The cool part of this whole thing is that we aren’t alone, thousands of groups of friends from all around the world are did the same things we did, and are feeling the same way we do right now.
 
I know that no matter what happens in our lives, whenever a movie like this comes out, we’ll think of each other, and for those few hours sitting in that theater, no matter where we are or who we’re with or how old we are, we’ll be 8 boys, sitting in the back of the theater, side by side.
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