Friends of a Lifetime
We aren't always together. But we support each other year after year.
We don't know each other's social circles, not anymore. But we know the people that matter.
We don't have the same tastes. But we have a lot in common.
There was a time when we were always together, when we knew everyone the other person knew, when we liked the same things.
As we grew, we changed. Instead of growing further apart, time drew us in closer. Because we mature, we complement each other's knowledge, providing timely advice. We experience different things, so our stories and jokes are still fresh and funny.
The sun sets and rises thousands of times, still I know you, and you know me. On this planet, we have each other.
You know those roller skates that almost look like sneakers? Where you can put the wheels inside the sole of the shoe when you want to presentably walk by instead of skating?
Well, I wish I had worn them more often.
I wish it wouldn't matter that Marcus once during lunch break said they're stupid to all of our friends.
I wish I didn't care about how Kelly said she wouldn't wear them because “they're heavier than all the other shoes”.
I wish I wouldn't have outgrown them in just one year.
I wish they made my size! I'd buy them!
Despite our infrequent interactions stemming from the long distances between our cities, I was friends with a well-matched married couple. She had beautiful blond hair and bright eyes, he was a gentleman people call when they need help. They came from similar family backgrounds, majored in the same faculty. Their characters were complementary yet still fairly different, which was good for their relationship.
One day, as I just arrived home, I received a phone call from him. Our schedules don't match, and we never call each other before messaging. We greeted each other and for a minute he was completely silent. I waited patiently, knowing all too well this is serious. He breathed in deeply and after only one sentence we were silent together.
When I met them, I was too young to notice. When I grew older, I was too far to notice. They weren't desperate anymore. The decision was final. I waited for them to tell me why, and the wait lasted years.
It really was the butterfly effect.
Over our rare meet-ups when I would arrive to their city, I'd take them out separately. And over coffee, walks, and drinks I slowly learned how my friends drifted apart.
Soon after their wedding, she asked him to promise something to her, but never explained what importance it had to her. He misunderstood what she asked him for, and did his best to complete what he thought she wanted. She felt betrayed when he didn't act upon his words, hiding away from him, spending time outside. She tried her best to stay calm and warm, because she loved him, but she just couldn't discuss with him what happened, it was too painful. He didn't understand why their relationship changed, so he would provoke her, trying to make her mad. He thought then they will let out their emotions and things would go back to how they were. The effect wasn't positive. And so one misunderstanding, buried deep down, became a hundred, leading to their divorce.
It is the little things that matter. Don't let the weeds grow, pull them out when they are still weak, before they eat away the heart.
White Flask Labelled “Summer Snowball Fight”
If my shelves were to be stacked with glass flasks of all shapes and sizes, filled with colorful substances of unknown forms, I would put little labels on them. Of course, it is visible from a distance that some flasks look more dangerous than others, but I would want to make sure that anyone reaching into the shelves would know what Pandora's box each one of them could be.
Today, the rays of light feel like waves of heat, and I am craving a memory flask of snow capped mountains. Make no mistake – although these tall peaks spend decades in snow, during the summer season they are perfect for snowball fights. Providing you have a jacket. And very warm pants. Preferably paired with sturdy boots. And if you're going to go this far, might as well grab a hat, a scarf, and some gloves.
Searching for a Home
I have no home.
I was raised in a delicate balance of languages, cultures, and religions, used to changing addresses and phone numbers too often to count. Certainly, I have met many people, and have had a multitude of experiences. This allowed me to have something in common with almost anyone, and yet never finding someone like me.
As I nonchalantly watched other people living, somewhere down below in the mundane world of stability and routine, eating lunches with coworkers and enjoying weekends with their families, it occurred to me that their mere physical presence makes their houses grow and become homes.
Their neighbors saw them buy this house, their coffee shop waitress knows their name, their friends from high school invite them to basketball. They have a community; they are a community.
Ties, even those of blood, can only be forged if you spend time together, if you’re there for each other more often than not, if they saw previous versions of you. For the sake of belonging, I was willing to try this “immobility”. I moved to my birth town, facing my ancestry, adapting to my culture that over the years was but a shade of myself.
In my house, I did not find what I was searching for. But I became a community for others. Giving a space to those who want to be fully understood, even if they will never understand me.
We helped each other.
We changed each other.
Right now, my house stands empty. I travel, like I used to. But now there are people waiting for me to return.