Wednesday, June 8, 2011

thanks, part 4.

Hey Guys, another week of thank youuuuus. Who knew I could keep this going for four weeks? Not me. Sorry it's so long, just know I'm making a conscious effort to cut down my post-lengths. What can I say, though? I've got a big mouth.
As always, thanks for reading!

XO Sare

Hi, Stranger.

So, I know we're not speaking. Since the falling out; that argument via text about you being shady and unreliable and me being morally bankrupt. But I'll allow this thank-you note to slide in and I don't see it as me giving in first. If you do, that's fine. We tend to disagree these days anyway.

I don't know if you know this, but you were my first crush in a new town. The end of eighth grade, track practice- I'm cast as the new kid, yet again. You were tall and quiet with a weird name. I was desperate to make friends that didn't participate in the make-yourself-pass-out game in the bathroom during lunch. Anyway, we never spoke, you and I. But I knew who you were and I'm just glad you were there, thanks for being a distraction from the garbage I was wading in.

In high school we had German together every. single. semester. And usually another class too. And cross country practice. And track practice. I thankfully made brighter, better girl friends. We saw each other, interacted every single day. You were always so cranky during wrestling season, even if you weren't cutting weight. Now that I think about it, that may have just been the winter blues. They get the best of us. You always took the longest to take tests and quizzes- checking and rechecking, still hunkered over that too-small desk when the bell rang. I can't remember exactly when, but at one point we became actual, legitimate friends. You were so weird, your family life and religion-centered upbringing- when all along I thought Catholic guilt was bad. I'm so glad I knew you then, thanks for being the first real male friend I ever had.

I remember having a vague crush on you throughout high school, but nothing heartbreaking, I had a crush on just about everyone. I think I more liked you as a person, the strong, stoic, soft spoken type. Anyway, you never dated. I was boy crazy. I've always been a little boy crazy.

And then the summer after high school. That summer the four of us hung out every single night. That's not an exaggeration, every night. You three guys and me. Sometimes we'd throw in a few more faces, one girl we were all friends with or another, but it was always the four of us. D left for college first. M worked nights. School started late for me, almost October. You were getting ready to go on your mission. Thanks for that summer. Thank all three of you for that summer. It was sticky and full of fishing and country music and driving around aimlessly. All that time and heat to kill, but nowhere to go. 

You're a DAD now. And a step dad. Or maybe you adopted her son. I wouldn't know.  I never saw you as the type to get married young or to have children. You were never nurturing, I can't picture you as a father-figure. I mean, engaged after how many months of knowing her? Five? I find it ridiculous and I'm sorry for that. I've seen you as many things, but never a nurturer. Remember how you used to eat locusts after cross country practice when people would pool together enough money to make the bet worth your while? I wonder what you spent your winnings on.

Anyway, I can't help feeling like I lost you to that mission somehow. Two years in Brazil. I was busy partying and finding my passion for the world and you were learning Portuguese and bringing God to the people. You did come to visit once before you shipped out, though. The three guys, my three amigos. It wasn't your scene, but still, thanks for coming. I'm sorry if I'd changed or something. It was never something I could feel tangibly, but it must have seemed stark.

I can't remember exactly when, but at some point during that summer we all hung out every day I stopped seeing you as someone I had a crush on, and started seeing you as just my friend. Not that I didn't like you as a person anymore, I guess I just felt you were bigger than that. You were my friend. Friendships don't usually end suddenly in a break-up. Maybe I subconsciously wanted to remove the risk of losing you. I don't know.

Anyway, you were gone before long. Brazil. I wrote you letters. You wrote me letters. The entire two years. I'd never have guessed you'd have written me consistently for two years. I mean, I've seen how slow you write. How you agonize over every sweep of the pencil. (always pencil) German, remember? Sometimes I just want to remind you that people write in pencil so they don't HAVE to be as careful. Pencil can be erased.

I always write in pen. But you got my letters, you know that.

Anyway, thanks for being my friend then. Really, being my friend. you sent me birthday cards when I had no idea you even knew when my birthday was. You told me how you felt in small ways for the first time since I'd known you. We were friends. I tried to send you a stick of gum once, that letter got sent back with a nice little note from the church.

I was pissed.

Thanks for those two years of easing me into losing you. I mean, we had letters, but really, they can only go so far. Especially when you came back the way you did. I always knew you were close-minded, and I'm grateful in a sense that I got to experience a true friendship with someone whose views differ so greatly from my own, but when you got back it was a different kind of intolerance, you seemed angry.

I can't decide if I blame whoever brainwashed you or just YOU for changing so much. Where you used to be shy and almost gentle, you became rash and completely fanatical. It was probably bad timing, too. I mean, there I was going through a personal ideological revolution of sorts and it just came to a head.

One of the last times I saw you was at your engagement party. It was a weird night. M and I were the only friends from high school you invited there. And we weren't even invited to the wedding. What happened to you? It was so weird to hear someone call you Baby. I never pegged you as a pet-name guy. But then again, I guess you married your first girlfriend. I probably wouldn't have liked her anyway, but it was icing on the cake to see her act whiny and fake the entire time we were there.

Then you and your wife were at A's wedding. What a horrid night in general. I mean, the wedding was lovely, but the table vibes were enough to send me to the open bar and mingle with strangers instead of catching up with three of my best friends. Your wife was pregnant with your first child that night, I remember thinking it completely ludicrous. It was the first time in years the four of us were together, sitting at the same purple-clad table. Dressed up older than I felt. I got drunk, you and your pregnant spouse left early.

The next thing I remember in regard to you isn't your daughter's birth, although it should be. I was ready to be the eccentric old friend that buys cashmere sweaters that are completely impractical for a rapidly growing infant.  It wasn't to be, eh?

I guess my heart could have put it to rest if you married a woman you were madly in love with that had a jealous streak and didn't trust your old fishing buddy who happened to be a girl. That wouldn't be too much to handle. But I just remember the bubbling rage that started in the pit of my stomach and quickly boiled up my insides and out of my mouth. Me, screaming alone in my car. Attacked for the way I think. The way I patched together a world for myself through reading and seeing and doing everything I can get my hands on around me with wonder and excitement and open eyes.

Now, I know everyone doesn't see the world the same way. It's a truly remarkable phenomenon and it lends us something completely invaluable, perspective.

But I've never had my character or personal being attacked the way that you did that day, so easily. I guess I'm grateful that I've learned from that my ability to stand by myself, unshakable for what I believe is right. Thanks for the test, I passed. Maybe I'm not religious, but my way of thinking doesn't have me attacking other's for having different ideals than I do, either.

And thanks for making it so easy to walk away. I know you started pacing the other way as soon as I did, as if preparing for a standoff. Only there will be no standoff, because other than one last thank you, my honest gratitude to you for showing me that I'm growing and will continue to do so and thrive, I'll never turn back around.

You may have the Mormon God on your side, but I've got the golden rule. 

I'll always wish the best for you and yours, and I'm eternally grateful to have once called you my friend.

XO Sara

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this was such a lovely piece despite the serious subject matter. No matter the circumstances, losing a friend is hard, and it sucks. Love the positive perspective you offered!