Hey man, I thought I might find you here. I mean, you do come to this coffee shop every single day. What can I say, you’re a man of routine. There’s actually something I wanted to talk to you about. Don’t worry; it’s nothing too emotional. I know you hate big emotional conversations.

Look, it’s just—now that you’re the protagonist of this movie, I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure to dispense clunky exposition in my conversations with you, and I don’t want to do that anymore.

It’s not that I don’t love talking to you, dude. Of course I do—you’re my best friend! And you’ve been my best friend since we were kids. I still remember how we met in Mrs. Wilson’s class: You let me copy your social studies homework, exemplifying how you’re always willing to help people, even if it means breaking the rules a little. But who am I kidding, I don’t have to tell you that.

I just wish we could hang out like we used to, without me having to heavy-handedly explain things we both already know, you know? Just shoot the shit about normal stuff, like our shared interest in our local baseball team you had dreams of playing for until you tragically broke your arm senior year, or our work together at the advertising agency where you’re currently on thin ice with our boss, Mr. Robertson, because you botched that big pitch meeting last month, even though the only reason you were underprepared was that you were up late bailing your sister out of jail. I can’t believe you refuse to give up on her, even though she’s made so many mistakes. You might not like to have emotional conversations, but I know you’ve got a big heart in there.

I feel like I’m getting off topic. See, this is what I’m talking about. I’m almost as frustrated as you were last year at the Christmas Festival when— No! Damn it!

I don’t mean to come down on you too hard, buddy. I know it’s been a hard couple of months for you, ever since Rachel broke up with you on your Hawaiian scuba vacation just before you were about to propose to her. But who am I kidding, I don’t have to tell you that. But who am I kidding, I don’t have to tell you that I don’t have to tell you that.

Hey, someone left a newspaper on that table. Huh. Looks like the front page story is about that big tech company that’s opening up their new headquarters here in town. You know, Grimpl. That app that makes computers for your phone. Might as well keep reading this out loud, even though you’re looking at it too. I guess they want a fresh start after their big embezzlement scandal back in February. They’ve got a new location, new management… but it says here they still need a new advertising agency. Oh right, Mr. Robertson was trying to set up a meeting with them. You were there; I know you heard him. He’s probably gonna need someone to write up the pitch. And you know how you’re always saying you want to take more risks?

Of course you do! You’re the one who’s always saying it! Why does this keep happening? How about I just stop talking, and maybe you can ask me a question about how I’m doing for a change. Or is that too hard for you? As hard as moving on from your father’s tragic, untimely death, after which you vowed to live each day to the fullest and take nothing for granted?

Here are some other facts, apropos of nothing: You’re close with your grandmother, but she still refuses to explain the significance of the cryptic map that hangs over her fireplace because “it’s too dangerous.” You’re self-conscious about your height and you’re allergic to roses. A local zookeeper has just been infected with a mysterious tiger virus, and he rides the same bus as you. Your kitchen is home to an extensive collection of high-end olive oils—and yes, that will come in handy later on in a hilarious, slippery way you’ll never see coming.

Whoa, what just happened? Sorry, I think I blacked out for a second there.

But let’s be real, bro. This has been going on for a while. We must be into the movie’s second act by now, and I’m sure the audience understands what you’ve got going on and what the stakes are. They already know our high school reunion is your one big chance to prove to everyone that you’re a success—even though lately it’s less and less clear what “success” even means to you—and it’s only five weeks away. You know how I know? Because last week when I saw you, I said it was six weeks away, and the week before that I told you it was seven weeks away. At this point, it’s just beating a dead horse. Sorry to bring up a dead horse; I know that’s a sore spot for you after—never mind.