Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Vaguely embarrassing, but true. If we are -or were- close friends, I've got a memory of you stashed somewhere, a silvery playback of a span of time during which I looked into your eyes and thought, violins wailing, this is it.
OK, OK, I exaggerate.
But not, as I've begun to realize, by too much. For every person I am, or have been, close to -my good friends, ex-friends, ex-boyfriends- I can dredge up a moment of connection. Or, more precisely, the realization of connection. A kind of slap upside the head, a mental reeling during which, for whatever reason or reasons, I cottoned to the fact that we would -not even should, but would- be friends.
On that couch, discussing rabbits. The bus back from the Ren Faire. Scrubbing a stranger's dorm room. Trying out socks. Explaining ice cream. Borrowing your prom dress. After choir. Dancing through the labyrinth. Throwing sand.
These moments- their existence, and the surety with which I recall them- come as a surprise to me. I've often thought, or wanted to think, that humans are, if not exactly interchangeable, then loosely so. That any two of us could be friends, if given the chance, and that most of us, if forced to marry one another, would have a fair shot.
It helps to diminish the preciousness of each individual connection. It guards against the loss which inevitably, inexorably, comes -even to those of us who are still friends, who did marry, who are right next door. If we can all just get along, my thinking goes, who cares if we must -sometimes sooner, sometimes later- get along without?
It's much less comforting to acknowledge what is probably true. That I like some of you better than others. That you can't force friendship. That each of those connections I've cut or lost or wasted was real and particular and capable of lodging deep.