I hate it that I can hear a song, so many songs, actually, and be stopped in my tracks because it reminds me of you. I hate that you still have my spare yoga mat from our Wednesday night Birkram-and-Old-Spaghetti-
I don’t know why I’m surprised. In the three years of our friendship, we walked the line between best friends, acquaintances, fuck buddies and almost-enemies. You have shamed me with your silence more than once. I never knew where we stood really, something that drives me nuts. But for you? I took it. I let you kiss me when you felt like it, fuck me even if I didn’t. And I liked it, truth be told. I liked being in your spotlight, in your good graces.
When we were first introduced, I wasn’t so intrigued. It wasn’t until we first had drinks that things seemed to take off. Except, they didn’t. Until the wedding of the same friend who introduced us, where we drank, slow danced and laughed. Something changed as we watched drunk people fall to the floor during “Rock Lobster” and when you nearly dropped me during that final dance.
Sometimes, I’d think you weren’t a romantic, but you’d surprise me. With a nice dinner out on my worst days, with late night phone calls, with your arms around me as you taught me to send golf balls flying into the sky, dotted with gnats that swam around us in the summer air. It was when we were waiting in line for showers in the unforgiving heat at Coachella and you got in first, and then brought me an iced coffee, and made all the other girls in line say, “Awwww!” It was the way you showed me Las Vegas for the first time, with dinners and clubbing and a room overlooking the strip, as our bodies pressed against the window, hard, over and over again. I rubbed the bruise that was left on my collarbone from that encounter, my little secret.
Still, it never quite worked. We’d try and snuggle and it felt forced. There was always a wall, talk of a serious relationship buffered by jokes and past hurts and worries that one of us would say the wrong thing, that we’d cross the line from best friends to the great unknown. Things never seemed to quite match up, but there we were, talking every day, texting non-stop, spending every last moment together. And I had hope. I really did. I thought that one day, we wouldn’t need words or boundaries or a status—that we knew.
I cared more than you did about finding you a new apartment. I spent hours listening to people describe bathrooms and bedrooms and lease specials. And then, I laid on satin sheets with you in Bed, Bath and Beyond when you asked me, “Girls will do me on these sheets, right?”
By girls, I thought you meant me. But instead, you meant girl. Another girl, a girl who was not me. But now? She IS me. She’s everything we had, except with a title and an engagement ring.
The last time I saw you, we went to our favorite bar. We took our shots and drank our drinks and danced, pressed up against the wall as usual, but this time, we were much more careful with our hands and our words. You admitted that she didn’t know where you were or who you were with, and I thought I had a chance. Until you started taking days to return my texts, and then one day, you stopped returning them at all.
You used to give me so much shit for my Facebook page. But there you were, a suggested friend in the right hand corner of my screen. I clicked. I couldn’t help it. Seeing your status as engaged took my breath away. You, the person who couldn’t bother to call me your girlfriend, who was so desperately afraid to commit, has made the ultimate promise. To someone else.
And even though my own status reads “In A Relationship” and it’s with someone I love, it hurts. I see you’ve become a fan of the band Justice, and all I remember is us in a room with thousands of other fans, dancing our hearts out in a haze of marijuana and sweat. I see that you’ve taken her all the places where I used to be your automatic date: parties, weddings, baseball games and god knows where else. And while I’m perfectly happy doing my own thing, I cant help but feel a sadness, for you, for us, for the friendship we used to share.
I wish I could click a red “x” on my heart the way I can on the god damn Facebook page that taunts me, showing me what could have been. Instead, I send you a paltry message, offering my sincere congratulations on a life that I’ll never, ever be a part of.
And you? Well, you don’t even bother to write back.
"The universe is made of stories, not atoms" --- Muriel Rukeyser
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Just a Titch
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