Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Heartbroken

I had to say goodbye -- again -- to my best friend Monday. Even though it's supposed to get easier, since theoretically each goodbye is one less to do, it doesn't. Instead, I drove home harboring an emptiness that still lingers in me as I sit here now, slouched on the couch, disinterested in anything that involves having to feel something. Every time I leave and hug her goodbye, it's like a piece of me is torn away. Sure, we still have email and occasional, well-scheduled phone calls, but it's just not the same.

My husband has pointed out that we don't see each other any less than we used to, which is an accurate and typical male assessment that is also completely irrelevant. It's not about seeing each other, at least not really. It's about being able to call her whenever I have a bad day, or a good day, or a stupid day that I just want to grumble about for awhile. It's about knowing that I could be there in a day's drive if she needed me, about all the times I had my keys in hand and was ready to drive six hours to cheer her up if things didn't improve by nightfall. It's about knowing I can be there for her like she's been there for me, instead of having to wait until both of our awake schedules overlap.

It's hard to explain it to anyone who hasn't had a friend that could just as easily be a sister. Our relationship is quirky and long-lasting. On the surface, people may not even understand why we're friends: we don't really like most of the same movies, or music. I suck at video games, and she's an ace. We drink different things, watch different things, do different things. But on that deeper, better level? All I can tell you is that I would rather watch a movie with her that I know I won't like than enjoy one on my own. Because somehow, watching it with her makes it worth doing and makes it more fun than I could ever imagine. She knows me like no one else in this world, in a different way than my parents or my husband, in a deeper way than I know myself sometimes. In a single conversation, she managed to put my long-distance relationship in perspective when I didn't think there was any point in trying. She makes me laugh, lets me cry, humors my occasional antisocial weirdness and accepts my complete inability to accel at anything involving coordination, like climbing stairs without falling on my face. There couldn't be another person on this earth who could make a better friend, and I just hope I do half as much for her as she for me. Anywhere in this country, be it Chicago or Florida or Maine or Washington, I would at least be able to call her. I can't, and it eats away at me even though I know it's temporary. I worry that I can't be the kind of best friend I should be when I'm not even able to pick her up on a bad day. She has a fantastic boyfriend and amazing support from her friends, but it kills me that I'm not there to share in everything that's happening. I miss her. I hate this. I know it will end sooner than I think and that we'll be back together again, but it doesn't make it any easier now. I just wish I could tell her how much she's meant to me over the years, how happy and proud I am for her now as she does such incredible things with her life, how painful it is for me to miss them. A best friend, a sister, a confidant -- there's not much more I could imagine finding in one person. So I'll get on this plane and swallow the ache in my throat again...but this emptiness? This missing piece? It's with her. Always.

Anywhere in this country, be it Chicago or Florida or Maine or Washington, I would at least be able to call her. I can't, and it eats away at me even though I know it's temporary. I worry that I can't be the kind of best friend I should be when I'm not even able to pick her up on a bad day. She has a fantastic boyfriend and amazing support from her friends, but it kills me that I'm not there to share in everything that's happening.

I miss her. I hate this. I know it will end sooner than I think and that we'll be back together again, but it doesn't make it any easier now. I just wish I could tell her how much she's meant to me over the years, how happy and proud I am for her now as she does such incredible things with her life, how painful it is for me to miss them. A best friend, a sister, a confidant -- there's not much more I could imagine finding in one person. So I'll get on this plane and swallow the ache in my throat again...but this emptiness? This missing piece? It's with her. Always.

2 comments:

kristy said...

Yeah, my best friend abandoned us for Australia about 15 years ago. I probably see her as much as ever because she makes a point of seeing everybody faithfully the couple times a year she comes home. But, no, it's just not the same.

Auglaise said...

That pretty much sums it up. You at least had the sense to fall in love and marry someone from the same country...who knows if I'll ever move back?