Thursday, August 25, 2011

That's How Long I Want to Be Your Friend

A circle is round, it has no end... (you know the rest)

My day has come full circle. There have been at least 10 things I have wanted to write about today. There's no way I'll remember them all now, but I am writing at a feverish pace trying to get as many out as possible.

I started out the day thinking about how time makes us see the past with rose colored glasses. I was thinking of a recent visit with an old friend.

Before I start, because I don't want this whole post to reek of negativity, let me say this. I love this friend dearly and he is super important to me. And though it might sound from what follows as though there's bitterness now, it's quite the opposite. We have a really great relationship. I so enjoy our hangouts and I am super happy of the place we have reached that allows us to remain close friends in our adult lives. And our recent visit was GREAT, despite the small excerpt to the contrary below.

Ok, back to the main story. I often think of this friend, when he's not around, with nostalgia and fondness. Sometimes I'd even go so far as to say longing. And yes, this was a friend of the romantic variety. But I spent the last six months of my relationship with this friend thinking to myself at least once a week, sometimes daily in the worst times, that it was not meant to be. That I was incredibly unhappy, and that I should just say so, even if it meant the end of things. But it is so hard to remember what that feeling was about when I look back on it. What I remember instead are all the things we had in common, the fun times and laughter we shared, the intellectual arguments and banter, the hikes we went on, the great sex we had (sorry Dad, if you're reading this). It's hard to remember the bad times. Our brain naturally wants to push those things to the rear of the filing cabinet, make them take the F train to its end in Brooklyn (if your brain is a subway system, like mine). But when hanging out with this friend recently, he got more and more cranky and whiny as the night wore on. Cranky and unwilling to make decisions, and then annoyed when I stepped in and made the wrong one. I had forgotten about how cranky he could get. Then, the next day I wanted to hang out again. And my friend didn't. But his excuse was that he didn't feel like it, didn't feel like doing anything in fact. But then we proceeded to talk on the phone for an hour and half. This used to drive me CRAZY during our relationship. He'd be all, "nah I don't want to hang out," and then want to talk on the phone for two hours when we lived TWO MINUTES AWAY FROM EACH OTHER. I was like, if we're going to spend all this time talking, WHY NOT DO IT IN PERSON? Wtf, mate? At least now that we're no longer in a relationship, this doesn't bother me, because expectations are a lot different. But it reminded me of how much it USED to annoy me.

So while we still share things in common, still have fun together, it is good to take off the pink shades every once in a while and see things as they really were. See him as I truly know him - the good AND the bad.

In between then (7am) and now (11pm) I've had approximately a million other thoughts. And yet, I came back to rose colored glasses not five minutes ago. And not on purpose.

See I went to the pharmacy today in between work and bowling league (more on that later) to kill half an hour and pick up some toiletries I'd been needing to replace. One item on the list was toothpaste. When I got home tonight, I went to put the new toothpaste in the medicine cabinet. And I noticed that even though I switched brands over a year ago (before I even moved to NC) to a 'sensitive' toothpaste, I still had my old regular aquafresh sitting in the cabinet. Right next to the nearly empty tube of sensitive stuff. "That's really old," I thought. "I should totally get rid of it." I reached up and grabbed it, and it jerked me into a memory as quickly and jarringly as I imagine sticking your face in a pensieve must feel.

I am in bed, in my Westwood apartment. I'm trying to sleep but the sound of video games wafting in from my living room is keeping me awake. I have to work tomorrow, and I'm annoyed. Finally the TV turns off. The bathroom light and accompanying fan turn on. Running water. Toilet flushes. Fan goes off. Bedroom door creaks open. Clothes swoosh gently off skin and land with a soft "whoomp" on the floor. A thin frame slips under covers and set of arms wrap tightly around me. It should melt my heart but I remain unmoved.

"I couldn't sleep; TV was too loud," I say in my most pitiable voice.

"I'm sorry."

It's said with sincerity. He kisses me softly on the neck.

"Your breath reeks of cigarettes," I complain, even more annoyed now that he's being conciliatory.

"I brushed my teeth," he offers, a little defensively.

"Well it smells like shit," I snap.

"Well that's because your stupid toothpaste tastes like shit!"

"If you don't like it, why don't you bring your own damn toothpaste over, and stop using my stuff!"

"I don't know what your problem is."

The arms recede away, rolling with the body now facing the opposite wall. I shiver. And immediately regret my attitude.

Flashback to the present. I am holding the toothpaste, transfixed. A dumb blank stare on my face that hasn't yet awoken from memory, though my mind is already returned. Rose colored glasses would have hidden that moment from me. Toothpaste revealed it. Isn't it funny, the things you remember? And how funny that I'm back to rose colored glasses at the end of this long, full day. It's like my brain knew it would be a nice cap to the day to return to what we started the day thinking about.

Anyhoo, I think I shall write another post for some of the other stuff, as this one has taken on a life of its own with all the embedded reflection.

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