I remember the night we met clearly enough that if I close my eyes I can be there. The smell of the rainy night, the sound of tires on wet gravel echoing against metal walls in the industrial complex. I can still see the tattered brown couches in the first room I walked into. I can still hear the sound of my shoes on the linoleum. I can still see the people, a bunch of drunk kids because no one was carding, red plastic cups in everyone's hands.
I didn't register him then, but I remembered. I remember what I was wearing, because that is what sparked our first ever exchange of words. He told me he liked my shirt--hand-painted New York Dolls shirt I had made--and handed me a flier for his band. I didn't register him then, but I remembered.
When you meet someone you never know where your path will go. When we met 5 years ago I never would have imagined that 4 years later we'd become friends. That soon after that we'd be best friends. I couldn't have begun to comprehend that I would ever spend a year missing him with the heart I didn't know I had.
I never let people in. This is why he was such a devastating loss. Because I know what I had, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to do that again. I live somewhat outside of myself. I can float away from myself and marvel at the exhibit of it all. The fact I loved him so much fascinates me and intrigues me because it was an isolated incident. The whole lovely mess is carrion on the side of the road and I can't help but want to poke it with a stick.
Now that I have slipped back to a mostly emotionally isolated existence it seems even stranger that those months in 2008 existed. And that I spent the first half of 2009 in shards. Really? That was me? I did that? WE did that? How very alien, how very strange.
I am finally at a place where I am okay. Therefore I am completely torn, and I don't know what to do. I'm at a point now where the past is far away enough that I am happy again. I don't cry about it so much. I miss him now more because I know how much we loved each other, and not because everything reminds me of him. There were months where everything was a sharp painful reminder of something we had shared. Now the memories come in a slower trickle, dull and fuzzy.
Do I want to take a knife and slice into every single wound that has scabbed over? That is quite likely what I will be doing. Do I want to open up every single cut that festered for so long with disease now that they have finally, FINALLY, begun to look like my skin again? I'm scared. I'm honestly really scared. I don't want to go back to that place. I don't want to be where I was last February, not talking to anyone I knew for a month, turning off my cell phone for weeks. I am so afraid that that will happen again.
I still miss him. I miss him every damn day. But maybe that is how things should be. We all lose people, we all get broken hearts. We have to heal, we have to get over it. Maybe I am spoiled by the fact that we both want to be friends again. I have a choice, a choice that others don't. It wasn't a break-up, there was no ultimatum given to me. I was never told to stay away. I have the luxury of taking it back. I have apologized for telling him we could no longer be friends. I have told him how much I miss him. He told me everything was forgotten, forgiven, and water under the bridge.
I can have something back. Maybe not the relationship we had, because I can't imagine he could fully trust me again. But we could have some sort of rendition of who we were a year ago.
I just don't know if I want it. I don't know if can handle it. If I loved him once so deeply that I couldn't be around him, to try again could be opening a can of deadly worms.
If I didn't miss him so much every day it wouldn't be an issue. If I didn't still get tears in my eyes when I think of stuff we did I could easily dismiss him.
I have to make up my mind. We are down to the nitty-gritty. End of the wire. Time to play referee in my life and make a call. Play ball? Or chalk it up to experiences, try to separate the good times and keep them safe, and let it all lay where it lies, in the past?
I miss my best friend. But I don't miss the freshly broken heart.