Wednesday, June 27, 2012

long lost friend.

I have this friend who has disappeared, despite my best attempts to stay in touch (Which are admittedly not always stellar). This is not a rarity for people in their twenties, I know. We lose touch. We're growing together and apart. We're struggling. We're looking for a steady thing and holding fast to whoever is close. It seems life is in a perpetual state of flux and we're constantly losing points of reference for the friends we've always had, hastily trying to establish new ones, even as we prance back and forth over the earth, refusing to settle anywhere permanently. I'm still at the age where I write my parent's address in the 'permanent address' slot, because they're almost always the only truly stable place in my life. And thank goodness I have that.
The way I've lived in my early twenties, it's no wonder, really, that some people got scattered to the wayside along the way. Such is life. We cling to what we can while travelling at warp speed, sometimes in circles, but always, fast. Just like Metric, If you're still alive/ My regrets are few/ If my life is mine/What shouldn't I do?/ I get wherever I'm going/ I get whatever I need. True, but who is going to make it with me?
The friend in question who has disappeared though, this one makes me uneasy. This friend of mine, Dani, she's a rare gem and I don't think I can afford to lose her. Even from the time we were fifteen, she has always been 100 percent herself, held a razor sharp focus toward the future, and hustled. Reminding me who I want to be. Reminding me that there are bigger things and it's possible and oh my god, don't you dare settle. She didn't go through the motions, she created the footholds to climb her own mountain. She's my friend. Her friendship is not suited for everyone. not by far. But then, neither is mine. Still, she is loyal and authentic and one of those rare people who are large enough in spirit to blaze their own adventurous trail through life.
The last time I talked to her, she was living in New Mexico, finishing up her Masters. Now, Dani is one of those people who technology doesn't seem to touch. She's probably logged into facebook twice since she signed up for it in 2006, she doesn't text, and the voicemail box on her phone isn't even set up. The most I've ever seen her use the internet is for reading Harry Potter fan fiction when we were still in high school. I've tried to get in touch with her to no avail over the past year. Emails. texts, calls. Short of calling her parents at home, if they still live in the same home, I've exhausted my resources. I don't know what to do. I've googled her name in every conceivable combination of words and made myself feel like a total weirdo in the process, and I've come up empty handed.
The thing is, I know how the world of friendships without convenience works. I've consciously and unconsciously drifted from people to whom I never thought in a million years I'd go for more than a week without talking. It happens. Maybe this is on purpose, a concerted effort to cut ties with me. It's possible. But I can let this go easy. Dani, she is more than spring break vacations in Florida, a shared high school graduation party, college visits, teary phone calls, brunch whenever she blows through town. She is adventure and daring and unyielding loyalty and ambition and worldliness and just- something bigger. And damn it, she's my friend.
I've talked to my core group of girlfriends at times, about what will happen if and when we start to drift apart. My friend Katherine put it eloquently when she said "I think that at this point, it's not something I could just let go."
This. This is something I can't just let go. I've always been incredibly discerning with my friends. To the point where now, I rarely make mistakes. I know the way the wind blows. I don't like to waste my time, and honestly, most of the time I'd rather be by myself anyway. But I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do.
This morning I composed and sent off another email, pleading with Dani to write me at least something back if she got what I wrote. Mentioning the last email I sent- last September- which went without response, despite the news of my sister getting married and having a baby, my brother spending a week in the hospital, etc etc. I keep telling myself she must not have gotten it, because our last conversation was a good one and the last time I heard from her, it was in the form of a handwritten letter ranting about the education system in America going down the tubes, normal stuff.  I know field work in her subject of study can leave her without technology for long stretches of time. I know she travels and has always been just a little elusive. She's fickle and moody and likes things her way, gets in touch on her own time. Probably, she's fine. But still. I worry. More than anything, I'm worried.
It's true. Dani and I have never been the kind of friends that talk daily. At times we would go months without a word. But it never felt off, the silence. Now it feels off. She's started appearing in my dreams every night, reminding me how long it's been since we've spoken, causing worry and wonder.
I don't know what to do.

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