I’ve always viewed friendships as somewhat like fine china. Some patterns come and go with the seasons. Some are solid, never go out of style, and serve you many years. Good china will provide you a beautiful space to nourish yourself. But you must always keep in mind that no matter how durable it is, it’s still china and it will break if not handled with care.
I’ve never really had the ability to stop loving people after I’ve started loving them. A scene from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” explains how love works in my life.
(HEDWIG:) “Seriously, Tom, yes. I believe love is immortal.”
(TOMMY sings:) “Look what you done … (bad chord) goddammit! How is it immortal?”
(HEDWIG:) “Well, perhaps because love creates something that was not there before.”
(TOMMY:) “What, like procreation?”
(HEDWIG:) “Yes, but not only.”
(TOMMY:) “What, like recreation?”
(HEDWIG:) “Sometimes just creation.”
After years of distance and emotional space, the love of certain people still exists. I’m a weirdo that way. Once that love is created, it may change but it never goes away. I don’t date. I don’t typically even “fall in love.” What I do is foster relationships and let them grow into whatever they will become.
A few months ago I got back in touch with my first love, Kara. While time has erased the romantic feelings, the primal teen urges, and the need for her attention, the love still remains. The 24 years of silence and distance couldn’t tear the love I had for that girl out of me. Our lives are very different. But that love remains.
I met Sarah during a time in my life when I was really emotionally fragile. The reality of never seeing my children again was setting in and I was pretty down and out. I had just moved back to Indiana and was looking for more support. She made it clear that she only wanted to be friends with me. I honored that and really fell into a space with her of closeness. Strictly platonic, we shared a bond that I’ve had with very few people. There wasn’t anything I would do for her. I spent the night at her house many times, we’d get drunk on twist cap wine from the Rural Inn and watch old movies. If her girlfriend was giving her grief, I’d be there to listen. When I was hurting, she’d take me out to Oldfield Gardens and we’d just hang out and be. Then one day, out of the blue, she decided to end our friendship. She blocked me on IM and didn’t return phone calls or emails. In an instant, she was gone out of my life.
A few years later she told me she felt like I was falling in love with her. Did I love her? Yes. Did I fall in love with her in a romantic way? No. But that was the end of our friendship. To this day, I still love her. That emotion and those feelings and the time we spent together doesn’t just die. But I had to lay it to rest. Like any death, there is mourning.
When my fine china breaks, I piece it back together and put it in the hutch that is my heart. The only thing I can do with it from then on is cherish the memories that were served on them. But the taste of the food still haunts my lips and lingers on my tongue. If anything reminds me that “there is no future, there is no past, no day but today”, it’s the love I’ve experienced and lost to the winds of time.