i don't really know why I've been thinking about friendship so much recently... i guess because it's one of the most revealing things about someone. Why do some last for decades, and why some are just contained to a specific period in your life, such as college. Why, if you have a really good friend at work, do you never hang out outside of that setting, and are you less of friends because of that? Who knows. All i know is that I've been thinking about it a lot recently. And more specifically, whether or not a failed friendship ever really was.
it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago when i saw an old friend on the street that i realized i hadn't seen him in a long time. i knew we weren't friends anymore, duh, but i hadn't realized it had been that long since we had last seen each other. Anyway, that encounter naturally got me to thinking about our supposed friendship. i questioned its validity because, despite my hatred towards the cliche, aren't true friends supposed to stay friends forever? Or something like that?
it made me wonder if maybe we hadn't really been friends? Maybe the whole thing was fake, the whole time we were both just flirting and hoping that one day one of us would make a move and something would come out of it? i mean, i knew him for three years as a friend and then one day, all of a sudden, we weren't anymore. No falling out. No hard feelings, really. Just like that. (well, almost just like that. But for blog's sake, just like that.) then, a whole year passes without any communication, and we're on a streetcorner making 30-second chit-chat.
after we parted, i had a 20 minute walk ahead of me, and i wondered if he had realized how long it had been, doing the math in his head like i had. Did he look at me and think "failed friendship" or just see the face of someone he once knew. I'm not quite sure. i questioned myself, were we ever friends? Did i have a skewed sense of reality back then? Because people don't just stop talking overnight, especially when nothing friend-breaking happened. i guess what troubled me most on that walk was the thought that maybe it wasn't real. i wasn't sure I'd ever know. At the end of my introspective journey (ha!) and as i was nearing my meeting and closing the chapter of my run-on inner dialog, i decided that maybe some things were better left un-examined.
now, however, i can think of other old friends who just weren't after a point. There was the good friend from high school who, after one summer, just didn't resume the same position in our circle of friends. That doesn't mean she wasn't our friend those couple of years, her image didn't just dissolve from all of my pictures. Then, there was my friends in middle school, my first true girlfriends. We were so close, accepting each other in our awkward adolescence, yet still went our separate ways in high school. It would be ludicrous to say that wasn't real just because i no longer identify with them. In thinking back over these old friends, i guess people do just stop being friends. It happens. So it goes.
like i said, i think a person's friendships can be really revealing, if not only for ones own self-involved theories. But, failed friendships and successful ones, i am grateful for it all. While my current friendships are perhaps my oldest friendships, i still think about these other people all the time. Even a few weeks ago, i may have thought these "failed friendships" never really existed, and that it was perhaps a lack of 'trueness' in it that caused them to fail.
now in my late-night revelation (yes, 2 am is "late night", and yes, this is really a revelation) i see that (gasp!) just because what was, isn't anymore, doesn't mean it never existed. And this is a good thing.