Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We're So Cool, We're so cool, we're so cool

When We Were 14
     We met and got married. We went to the same high school and a girl I'd been friends with since childhood took French class with you. At the Valentine's Dance the student council had set up an altar and people could "get married." She introduced us and suggested we get married. So we did.

When We Were 15
     There was a time when we thought we maybe had crushes on each other, possibly because society told us a boy and a girl couldn't just be friends, possibly because society told you to try to be straight, possibly because you were nice to me and other boys, including a boy who was my boyfriend for a while, weren't. But it turned out we didn't.
     One time we were in the basement of our school and it was just you and me and you told me you'd always wanted to wear a dress and so I took mine off and stood in my shirt and pants (I always wore pants with dresses) and you tried on my dress and twirled around and we never told anyone....until now, I guess. Sorry.

When We Were 16
     I fell in love with your best friend and a bunch of people we went to school with but who didn't really know us swore you were secretly in love with me and told me so and said you pined for me and it killed you that I was with someone else and they could "tell by the way you looked at me" and I knew they were wrong and I told you about it and we laughed at them.

When We Were 17
     You went away for the summer and you came back and I knew you would leave again and having had a taste of what it would be like without you I tried to make the most of it so we wrote haikus and excluded other people from things and just tried to have the best time because we knew you were going.
     And one time I came with you on what turned out to be a set up by some girl you knew and they were all mad because when you told them my name they thought I was a boy but it turned out you brought another girl on your date.

When We Were 18
     You moved away and I missed you and I was jealous of your new life and your chance to be whoever you wanted to be while I was stuck in the same place, and I got to learn which of the people we knew were your friends and which weren't because sometimes when I ran into people they would ask about you and I realized I knew about your far away life and they didn't and I felt so special to get to be your friend.
     You told me a secret which hadn't really been a secret for a long time and I kept it from everyone and again felt special because I didn't have any secrets of my own so I was happy to keep yours.

When We Were 19, 20, 21
     We held on to old nicknames and sign-offs on letters, and I always worried that when you came back it'd be different somehow. That one of us would have changed too much, or that you would expect nothing to have changed when it had...but it was always okay.

When We Were 22 
     We lived in the same place again for the first time in years and what did we even do?
I know we did stuff and I'm sure it was great but right now I can't remember and it's over and it's gone and we'll never get it back.

When We Are 23
     
You'll move away again, this time forever and I can only hope that one day my kids will call you Uncle and I hope they'll have friends like you in their lives and I hope when we're old we can still remember our bad hairstyles and the times we've had these past 9 years and that our memories will keep us young while making us feel old and I hope we'll be friends forever no matter where we are and never lose touch and I hope one day I won't see you on TV and say to someone or myself "I used to know him."

2 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post and it made me cry at the end. :)

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  2. Beautiful, touching tribute to a special friend. Thank you for sharing the special gift of this friendship and your writing skills with us.

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