January 29, 2017

What squeak, mouse?

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:57 pm by vrtrakowski

Once upon a time, about twenty-five years ago…

Let’s call it autumn of 1991; that was always my compromise, because it had to be sophomore year.  Nice mild night, and the stars were magnificent.  I was outside the dorm, don’t remember why, and was watching them, and he came by.  

We started talking that night, beginning with the stars–we both had an interest in astronomy, though he knew far more than I.  We talked for at least an hour, standing at the gate in darkness and looking up, and we had so much to say.  

Then one of us went inside, and we didn’t speak to each other again for about a year.  Not until the dorm won the campus Olympics and had a pool party.  He had a nifty–and chilling–trick of exhaling until he could sink to the bottom of the pool.  

He was reclusive, and had a rep for being difficult, but I thought he was interesting.  So a day or two later I went down to his room and knocked and asked him up for tea.  And he came.    

Thus began a friendship.

We’ve been friends through a lot, starting with growing up, even if we were almost legal adults when we met.  We helped each other with depression, and he helped me pass Pre-Calc; I watched my mother take him in, and wept when he discovered he was gay, because I knew it would be so very hard for him.  

He always said our friendship was unequal, but he could see through me like no one else, and he helped me through some dark times just by being there.  Maybe I was the more stable one, but no two people are exactly the same, are they?  

Our relationship ebbed and grew, as time and life and other relationships came and went.  Sometimes things weren’t easy, but few things are easy all the time.  

And now, it’s over.  

He doesn’t want to be friends any longer.  And he has the absolute right to end things.  

Nothing lasts forever, even friendships.  That’s a lesson it took me a long time to learn.  So I’m prying my fingers loose.  Gonna be a grownup this time.  

It’s not the end of the world, but I’ll be sad for a while.  There will be reminders–images of palm trees and hot blue seas, a particular strain of music, and always the stars.  

My life is richer because of him.  It always will be.  

I’ll keep looking up.  


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