O Nature, how you can be cruel.
A few weeks ago, I went out on a date with a guy who was looking for a casual sex kind of thing. Since I have a deadline for relationship lengths here in the city, and I'm not looking for anything serious anyway, I was intrigued and met up with him for a drink.
It was only a short date, over chocolate milk and a shared donut, nothing happened that would prove too scandalous for my ceramics friends to hear about, and we both came away from it agreeing, the next day, that there was a lot more of a friend vibe than a rip-each-others'-clothes-off chemistry.
The question was: what did I want to do? He was willing to try for a casual sex thing for the few months I'm still here, to see if the chemistry would work out. Me, I was more inclined to try for friends first, and maybe see about the sex later. I like making new friends, and I especially like the men I sleep with to be a friend (the best kind of lover is the one you can talk to before and after the sex), so I don't mind going in that order.
I don't think he was big on that, since I haven't heard from him since. Too bad, because he was a pretty good kisser.
Is it wrong to want more friends in your life, even if you will see so little of them?
As my countdown clock counts downward, as my last few months in San Francisco flit by, I'm finding old friends — ones that I lost or stopped seeing years ago — start to cycle back into my life. Peripherally or otherwise.
At Maker Faire two weekends ago, I ran into someone I've known for almost twelve years, but whom I haven't seen in probably three. It was one of those moments where I wasn't sure I recognized him, but he looked up when I said his name, and we ended up making my other friends wait a good ten minutes while we caught up on life. We made sure we still had each others' numbers. I was amused that the note he has about me in his digital address book said something along the lines of "cute girl, probably married by now". We made vague promises to do dinner again some time. Those might actually happen, because he actually seems determined that they do and followed up. It's flattering.
Not so flattering: on Friday I was at Off the Grid (finally made it) with my date, and a few people back in line I realized was another
There are other friends that I've let drift that I've been starting to think about again. The two friends that got married this weekend, but I had to miss out because of work and finances and other things that came up. The friend who moved to L.A. a couple of years ago, but I completely forgot she was there until she texted me on my birthday just as I was driving back from Disneyland. The friend whom I'm always reminded of when I eat pork belly (it's a flattering reminder, trust me!) or walk by Golden Gate University, where he goes/went to law school. The crew from Whiskey Thieves. Two or three nuts from high school that I haven't seen since our ten-year reunion. My ex-roommate. My college ex-roommate.
I need to make the effort to reach out to these friends, to all of these friends. And to the ones that are starting to drift into the months-of-not-seeing. A text just seems inadequate, but the problem with our modern method of having multiple ways to communicate means that the really meaningful way, the phone call, is too scary and too hard. Too much effort.
But I want to try. Because I feel, sometimes, that every friend — that is, everyone who is more than just an acquaintance — is a piece of me. And when I lose them, it leaves a hole. Some are bigger than others, of course. The biggest ones of all still pain me, months or years later; I've got a couple of those, one of which includes the guy from Friday. I thought that one was healed, and I guess it still is, but I still feel kind of empty. Well, emptier than I already had been feeling, sir.