It’s so weird to me that you and I grew apart. If you had asked me back when we were teenagers in junior high school if I could ever imagine going a DAY without talking to you my answer would have been an adamant no. Our phone conversations were as regular and predictable as the sun rising and setting, weren’t they? Right down to the exact minute I dialed your number. (A number I STILL have dedicated to my memory, despite the fact it’s been ages and ages since I last dialed it.) You and I were polar opposites in so many ways it’s a wonder we got along at all. But maybe that is what made us best friends. We had respect for those differences, and learned to love each other for them.
I remember the first time I met you. At camp back when we were both 12 years old. I was a free spirit even back then, a bit hippie, a bit quirky. A small little 12 year old with a lot to say and a lot of energy for life. And there you were that first day I met you. All cool and reserved in your leather jacket. (You HAD to be cool, wearing a leather jacket in the middle of summer, right?) I was fascinated by you, wanted to get to know you and your life and what sort of drum you marched to. The probability of us becoming friends was slim to nill. but we were both so damn stubborn that we bucked the conceptions and became fast friends. BEST friends.
You were partly a brother to me, partly a confidant, partly my courage, and partly the guy I totally loved for many years. Neither of us ever dared muddle up our friendship by treading into dating territory.
When I was 15 my mother moved my brother and I from our small town in Connecticut to Rhode Island. Within a few months you were the only friend I had left from Connecticut who still called and wrote. I cherished those letters, saved them all in a memory box.we poured out our hearts in those letters, didn’t we? You shared with me the hurt of your parents divorce, the struggle of being caught between your mom and dad, the deep depression that came when a serious girlfriend cheated on you with a friend, your pride in yourself for graduating school, etc. I wrote and told you of new school and new friends, my battles with my mother as a teenager, my first apartment, heartaches from boys…. When I was 16 your dad brought you up for a visit. We spent the night at my Grams house, talking and talking and laughing for hours. When I was 18 you and a buddy drove up to see me. It was only a couple hours and it killed me to say goodbye. When I was 20 (every 2 years like clockwork) my fiance and myself and our infant son made the drive to Connecticut to visit and meet your new girlfriend. Every single time I saw you face to face it was like coming home. A few months later you made the drive back up to give me away at my wedding. It was the first time I had ever seen you dressed up like that. A pretty big change from your typical black and tattoos. You were always the badass to my zen hippie. It just worked for us.
Somehow life just got the best of us. I was 27 the very last time I spoke to you on the phone.
I see you on FaceBook once or twice a year now. I never really talk to you. What’s top say? I almost feel like that chapter of my life is meant to stay closed. I can’t even explain WHY. I just feel like it was such an amazing, wonderful portion of my journey that if I attempt to bring it back I’ll be throwing the rest of my destiny off-kilter. I did message your wife once, about a year ago. Just to introduce myself and say congratulations. You were so damn adament you would never fall in love and settle down and now here you are, married and looking so happy in the photos. I am so happy FOR you. And I’ll just say “I TOLD YOU SO.” 😉 Amy is such a lucky girl. I just hope she never stops realizing that.
I miss you sometimes. I love you always.