Yet as much fun as I had with S*, what I loved most about him, and what I loved most about myself, was our big hearted spirit that radiated within us and flourished our tendency to connect who we knew with the things we loved to do.
To put it simply, we loved our friends and they loved us. S* especially had the ability to attract acquaintances and strangers alike with with his warm personality, that we’d often joke about his ever expanding social circle.Texts flashing…messages pinging… phones ringing…someone was always beckoning him to be somewhere else. But those someones didn’t have the chemistry that S* and I had. The chemistry built on the unwavering acceptance that we had for each other. As young, impressionable teenagers, we, like many, often found ourselves battling the war between who we were and who we were supposed to be among our peers. With S*, I never felt that I had to pose as something I wasn’t, or pretend I was someone I wasn’t.
When we weren’t together, our conversations continued over late night chat sessions on instant messenger, much like text obsessed teens do today. Staying up till dawn, we talked about relationships, who we were with and who we wanted to be with. We talked about my friends, his friends, and his friends who would then become my friends. We talked about our plans for the weekend.
So many of them spent in his neck of the woods where I would be the bell of the ball in a quartet full of boys. I crashed big Italian dinners where we laughed over pasta and late night diner runs where we told secrets over fries. We carried our conversations to coffee shops, to parties, to late night car rides. We cuddled on the couch to watch our favorite films and stared at the stars on hot summer nights.
S* and Jen. Jen and S*. A duet who knew each others fears, hopes and hang-ups. And while, we both relied on each other, I became to need S* even more. From small things like broken computers and extra concert tickets, to big things like broken hearts and cross country moves. Every “I don’t think I can do this.” was met with “Yes.You can.”
This was our time. The S* and Jen years where we collected memories and basked in the beauty of youthful freedom with the future laid out wildly in front us. Our curfews were extended, the nights seemed endless and we found ourselves blinded by the illusion that we had all this time. We spent so much of it together, and as I look back at the young people we were, what I remember most fondly is the sheer space S* occupied and how his constant, physical presence yielded a feeling inside me that can only be described as an “everywhereness.” S* was always everywhere…my thoughts…my plans…my home…my conversations…For years there didn’t seem to be an area of my life that he didn’t touch, that he didn’t know about.
All these vivid memories with S*, like individual colors racing across a painting that over the years have become more like expressionistic, lost nights where I don’t remember what we did, what we talked about, or where we were. I just remember him.
As we got older, our friendship would tick in time with new jobs, new cities and new friends. Sometimes we’d go weeks or months without a word as we lived out lives, met partners, built relationships and fell in love. And while those relationships gained momentum with move-ins and marriage talks, our friendship stood still until a sporadic text…Happy Birthday!…..How are you?….Will you meet me for a drink?
Playing Catch-up? Best Friends and Broken Hearts – Part I