The Friend I No Longer Have

This was an informal testimonial i wrote for a female friend.  A few months after she read this, I lost her friendship.  I’m not sure, but it well could have been the Karaoke comment :)  Four years and a few tweaks later, the piece still remains “her,” the friend I now no longer have.

– o –

IT’S BEEN ALMOST a decade since I first met her and I still haven’t figured her out. There’s something in her I can’t seem to put my finger on (figuratively, of course). Whenever you’d try to get to know more about her, you’d always end up knowing more about yourself. The moment she starts a sentence with “You are . . . ,” be prepared to take a scenic tour of the dark recesses of your own tormented soul. Her spontaneity and utter lack of pretense, a virtue by any standards, may never cater to one’s egotistic indulgences, but she always manages to temper it with this unique, disarming earnestness. Part of her charm, really, which we have all come to admire and love.

Her one recurring quibble: she leads – in her own words – a mundane existence. She would slouch all day, munch on anything that doesn’t move while watching the latest Buffy re-run. She would walk to multiple job interviews in a single day in compliance with a self-imposed slimming regimen she doesn’t need. She could tear down the walls and ceiling of her dorm with one long stony gaze. Trivial one might say but certainly beats torturing the neighbor’s cat. She loves to read what friends write and writes what friends love to read. But man, when she picks up a pen, she wields it well. Consider this equation: Her spare time, DIVIDED by the number of close friends, further DIVIDED by the amount of cash in her pocket EQUAL the number of hours in a karaoke bar. Such is the arithmetic of her life – a progressive continuum of time and friends, always divisible by Music 21’s hourly minimum room rate.

She is a Marilyn vos Savant and qualifies for Mensa International membership. If you’re smart enough to keep with her, you won’t find a more intellectually-stimulating chat anywhere else. Her self-discipline is legend. She loathes cigarettes, alcohol and coffee – they make her heart palpitate the same way men do. “So dark the con of Man,” goes her favorite movie quip.

She was one-of-a-kind.  She understood the arcane. She made me smile with her staccato bursts of laughter. She propped me up when I was down. She told me about the hope I never thought remained when I dreamt, lost, got back up and surrendered and thought that nothing more was possible.

I’ve always told her, “The taste of coffee is only as good as the company we keep.” Go dear friend, keep on drinking your fruit juice and I’ll be happy sipping my coffee, watching you from a distance, cheering you every step of the way. Because I still am what you no longer think I am. And you are what you never thought you could be. I will always remember you as a good friend, a tuning fork, a summer rain, a breath of fresh air, an aspirin, a light at the end of the tunnel, a beloved sister…

… a Sarah McLachlan song.

(the heart of east)

16 thoughts on “The Friend I No Longer Have

  1. Wow – what a superb articulation you have manifested – so brilliant is your ink ! Keep penning ! And, thank you for sharing the crevices and the strong bricks within…Cheers.


  2. Magnificent tribute to an obviously wonderful friend! I most especially loved the last paragraph. I wonder….if we all lived our lives in such a memorable way, what our friends (should they be so gifted as you with word weaving) would write of us…..interesting thought to contemplate! Not surprising…your writing always leaving me thinking…. :D !


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