I first met you in my late teens. I saw how many friends you already had. I admit that I was jealous. They all seemed to have fun having you around.
It was difficult the first couple of times getting to know you. I wondered how your other friends handled you. I had to get used to you. It didn’t take that long until I wanted you around me all the time. It was enjoyable and relaxing knowing you. First thing in the morning we connected. And then, throughout the day.
We were able to fly together during my early days with you. We needed to sit in the back rows but we didn’t mind. I’m sure the passengers up front got whiffs of our wonderful friendship. At restaurants, we’d stay together after the meal even if others wanted to leave. Theater visits were the same for us. You and I could visit a relative of mine in the hospital or checkout our groceries together. It was natural for us to be together.
Years passed and our friendship increased. When I wanted to celebrate, you were there for me. When troubles hit, you consoled me. What began as small talk slowly grew into a constant conversation. Sometimes, I would reach out to you only having just talked to you. It was weird but satisfying. I was the one who treated you but the cost of our relationship steadily grew.
At night, when I thought you were around, you were gone. That meant driving to a convenience store when it was not at all convenient.
I loved to go for walks or jogs when I was younger but with you, by my side, it didn’t seem practical. You solely wanted more of my time and I was gladly willing to offer it.
The times then changed and we could only meet outside. Winter’s were our shortest visits. You were still welcomed in my home even if visiting family members objected to you being around.
It gradually occurred to me how so many of your friends were not around you anymore. I thought it might be something you said. Or, something you did? I don’t know but now I find that you and I are, surprisingly, you and me. Children are taught to avoid you. Movies begin by listing you right next to “strong language” and “sexual situations.” What happened to us?
The Platters sang that you “get in their eyes.” I already knew that about you for years. Bogart and Nat Cole lost because of your friendship and Johnny Carson even “damned” you at his end. My friend told me that he missed his flight because he missed you. Another friend shared that those whiffs are still enjoyed although there’s a restraining order. Another friend shared that she still dreams about you although the bond was broken. Still, another friend told me that she wants to reunite with you when she turns eighty. What attachments you created!
It took five visits with you to write this. Is our lifelong friendship coming to an end or am I coming to an end? I don’t know.
Let me pause and think about this, along with your help.