How You Grow Up, Not Apart, When Your Best Friend Is The Love Of Your Life

You are you and I am I.

We are inextinguishable. We hold a bond which has gone on through almost fourteen and a half years of friendship. Try as I might to end it, I have never succeeded. Because you are tirelessly, perfectly and faultlessly caring for me. You refuse to let what we have end. You refuse to acknowledge my faults.

No — what makes you so perfect is your addiction to the acknowledgment of my imperfections. You stare them boldly in the face and say: “yeah, and so what?” I shout at you with my selfishness, my stupid soul-searching and my obsession with finding a higher purpose in life. It doesn’t matter. 

We grew up little by little together. We would bounce off each other. People thought of us like brothers. With one came the other. Invite one of us to a party, and the other would be there. We came as a package. Nothing felt complete without you. Nothing is complete without you. 

You’re 250 miles away, but still checking on me. Between the weeks our lives get busy and we don’t speak, I’m inundated, paralyzed, by the memories you and I share. The time we went go get my first gay men’s lifestyle magazine — I was too scared to go alone — and we were crying with laughter as I tried to be discreet but brought the whole shelf down while reaching to grab one.

Or the time I said “that’s so rad!” and neither of us could remember the context, but we somehow wound up roaring with laughter.

Or the darker times, like when a rumor spread about something happening between us, and I did nothing to quell it, but you were perfect.  You stood by me, even when people looked at you differently for doing it.

It’s sad that I’m writing this and not saying it to your face. But I have to. I have to because it’s the only way I can get my emotions across without tripping on my words or saying the wrong thing. For the last two years or so, I’ve never known how to talk to you. That, in part, is my fault. The last two years have held so much “growing up” for us both. We’ve set our course, and now we are sailing them. So perhaps it isn’t my entire fault, perhaps growing apart is natural and not forced. But as always, in our case, the rules don’t apply. We spend a semester apart and don’t speak? No repercussions. We will slide back into ourselves after just a coffee together.

But the last year has held more than you could possibly know on my part. After we took that road trip down south, cliché as it sounds, things weren’t the same — at least for a little while. You knew what I was doing when I wasn’t returning your calls or texts. You knew why I didn’t want to see you. That was okay with you, in all your forgiving perfection — but it wore on and on. I still wouldn’t speak to you apart from the odd miscellaneous drunk call.

Six months later, I let you back in. We spoke, and we began the process of healing. We are still healing. But you said the other day – for the first time in a long time – “things are good.” You like where we are. You like how we are, we are getting back to where we were. And I agree somewhat. So I am sorry for weirding out on you. For disappearing. But I wasn’t all there. Growing up is hard and I’m really, really no good at it.

So, I’m here. Sorry for calling you drunk again the other Sunday. I’m better. I swear. And I’m sorry for how dramatic this is. Isn’t that just me? But I’m glad we are back as the brothers that we once were. Remember, “brothers” mean blood. And blood cannot be separated.

And ain’t that rad. TC Mark

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