I've been thinking a lot about friendships lately. How they ebb and flow in your life and sometimes disappear altogether for no good reason.
How some people stick. And some people are the type you can ask favors of and some people...just aren't.
How there are some people who you can pick up with after 2,5,10,20 years of not having seen each other as if a day has not yet passed since the last time you spoke and sometimes, if you don't see a person every day they quickly fade out of existence.
Recently my father asked me which of my 8 weddings this year I could skip, as...well plane tickets are expensive and he wasn't taking the bait on my hint that he could help me out. (sigh)
Truthfully, there is not a single wedding I am invited to over this next year that I would skip. Each and every one of these events means a great deal to me for whatever reasons...Love, friendship, sacrifice, salvation, sanctuary, a good chuckle.
These are the people who make magic in my life.
Sounds hokey right? Yeah well whatever, I'm in that sort of mood.
Mostly though I've been thinking about the friendships that failed.
I don't think there are a lot of those on my list. Maybe five that have ever really failed. And in that five I count the three kids who lived down the block from me growing up as one because that's the type they were.
I have a really hard time letting go of people. It means that I stay in bad relationships far too long sometimes and that I get really upset when people move away to places like...California, Australia or Arizona. But worse even than moving away or being a crappy boyfriend are those friends who just seems to disappear off the radar for no discernable reason.
One day they are there to get your back and then *POOF* gone like a leaf in the wind.
Where did you go?
What happened to friendship eternal, one soul in two bodies?
I feel a little dupped when that happens. I am a little dupped when that happens. Chances are I probably wouldn't have been so nice and made friends with you in the first place if I knew you were going to pull a David Copperfield on me.
Plus, now how I am supposed to cash in on all the favors I racked up? You know, all the moves, the dinners, the back rubs on rough days and have I mentioned the cash I loaned you that I could use back right around now?
Not that friendship is all about who owes whom what but what's left after a friendship takes a long walk off a short pier? Memories. Obligations. And, sometimes an article of clothing that looks good on you.
If you are lucky, all of the memories you have of friends who are no longer in your life are beautiful and full of camping trips, getting mimosa-drunk on inappropriate mornings or eating entire angel food cakes. Sometimes you get the short end of the stick and all you can do is wince at the thought of all the sacrifices you made for the sake of the friendship and how you feel a little taken advantage of now that your mind is clear of the chaos masquerading as charisma.
What do you do? Well you move the fuck on, as they say in the rodeo.
I have a picture. It is of me and my friend. It used to be by my bed where it was the last thing I looked at every night. Then I brought it to work to sit on my desk. It is a picture that reminds me to have fun and live life big.
Later, that picture made it's way onto my desk at home, where it reminded me that art is everywhere because we used to see it that way. At some point, it got relegated to an upper shelf where it was neglected but still visible and now...now it lives in the extra bedroom. I don't ever really go in there. I imagine someday we'll have visitors who never met my friend and I'll have to explain who my friend is. Who my friend was at that point in my life. Wearing our dress up clothes, sitting in a booth at Unnamed Swank Jazz Club, sticking our tongues out at each other.
"Oh, that's just someone I used to know," I will say. I do say. I say it all the time and I don't know when I drew the line between knowing and having known but it's there. And it turned out OK because, while you can never recreate the good stuff you've left behind, the same holds true for the bad stuff too. So it's done. I decree it done as done can be.
Beware the red fish.
And the list grows to six.