Planet Clare

We were never really all that similar. It wasn't that kind of friendship.

Names alphabetically adjacent. The shared discomfort of high school. We connected initially pretty much because we were there, but once we realized we made each other laugh it didn't matter. Maybe that's what made it such a tight bond over the years, because we connected as people and not just much shared interests.

I have great friends I met through music or surfing or whatever -- but because there was that shared interest there was always some other level to things. Sometimes it was a mentor/student thing, like when the guys taught me how to surf, and those stumbling towards competence experiences pulled us together at the same time as our personal connections were developing.

And even if our lives are vastly different now, we always had those things to fall back on.

But whenever I look back on this particular history -- it's almost shocking how little we had in common. We weren't into the same things. Sure we delved into each others worlds, but in the end very little of it actually took. It seems so strange to say though, because for a while there all we did was hang out together. I practically lived at his house, was a part of the family fabric.

Perhaps that's why as different colleges split us apart and life kinda got in the way we weren't able to maintain it. We sorta thrived on contact, on the ability to be an open ear and an easy laugh for each other. We were close because our friendship transcended whatever thing we were into at the time.

I still love the guy -- but after a while we just  ..ran out of things to talk about.

Every now and then we get together for lunch. It's good to see him and I enjoy the company. We still make each other laugh, and I'm happy for the good things in his life. But we always end up talking about each other's kids, because that's easy enough to find common ground on. Everything else requires the kind of endless backstory and nuance that you never have time for when it's just a sandwich at a barbecue place during a lunch hour. And anything else was just memories from highschool -- and we're getting too old for all that stuff to matter anymore.

I used to get really mad about it. About the distance between us, especially when he moved back to town. We lived a few minutes apart, but we never saw each other. And even when we did, we were strangers on a train. But like a lot of other things, I kinda refused to see my own hand in things. Didn't understand that I was probably pushing him away just as much as I felt he was edging me out.

Breakups suck no matter how they happen, but you never really believe that you could actually lose your best friend. That just doesn't happen -- that's what makes them best friends, right?


[Now Playing:  Metric - "Breathing Underwater" ]


Beth said…
the term best friend has changed over the years...and I think we "label" those super close friends with that title and after a while it can become really heavy to carry...

we put so much expectation on it...but would we do the same for that person? and is that person even capable of being the mystery best friend...

sometimes I wonder should we have a "best friend" or should we have best friend for this, best friend for that...if that makes sense...
polkatronixx said…
I remember when I found out that Adam B was getting married. I was very happy for him. But as I was talking about it with my girlfriend one night, I actually started crying. I feel stupid admitting this now.

As I said, I was happy for Adam. But I knew that his marriage was the final nail in our friendship, at least in the friendship as we had come to know it. No more crashing over at his Mom's house and just wasting time like we did all through college. Even after college, we'd manage to meet up and spend a weekend together now and then.

So it sucks. But I guess you just move on and learn to live with it. Or your life just carries you away and you have things that you end up doing instead anyway.

I totally understand, or at least I think I do.
polkatronixx said…
On an unrelated note, glad to see you blogging again.
Hex said…
I think it is an inevitable part of growing up that we grow into different needs in our relationships, especially those of friends.

But at the same time you wouldn't think it was true for every friendship. I'm very lucky to still be very connected in some form or another to a lot of the people I grew up hanging with -- which is perhaps a big part of why it sucks to be disconnected so much from others, you know?