Some Friend of Mine
I kept meeting the person I’d become in strange places like the sparse kitchen cupboards, in the big bags of empty beer bottles by the front door, and under half-decorated Christmas trees with no gifts or fruit baskets. Her face peeked out, looking at me with a ridiculous, abashed grin.
I kept trying to avoid this person like a distant cousin I had nothing in common with, and didn’t care to speak to about the death of our grandparents.
Many days I closed the blinds and turned off the phone in hopes of avoiding her persistence to hang out with me. I didn’t feel like hearing her voice or seeing her face – all she ever seemed to do was complain about money.
On special occasions I was able to escape her sudden appearances and hang out with the person I use to be – she was a much better companion. All she ever asked for was a late curfew. All she ever wanted was for it to snow.
We laughed together. We reminisced. We talked shit about the person I’d become. We danced to loud Cuban music, tried on each other’s pretty dresses, complimented our figures and long, luxurious hair. Sometimes we’d even go on a cruise together on the Baltic Sea, take a tour of Beijing or a scuba-diving trip to the Caymans. These were good times.
But then there she was again, the person I’d become, waving at me from my old, dirty jeep. She stalked me, this woman. I’d be minding my own business, drifting along, and then suddenly there she was, staring at me from the dressing room mirror in another shitty discount store.
Oh and the look on my face every time I ran into her – such disdain. And I was forced to hang out with her because I’d been taught to include everyone - not to be a snob. But the times we spent together were a total drag.
Her clothes were outta date. Her skin was blotchy and pale. Guys didn’t look at me the same when I was with her. I felt her inadequacies and foolishness rubbing off on me.
Sometimes I even found myself pronouncing words the way she did, repeating phrases that she said. And, man, she really rambled on and on about how she had lost all her money to men and her back hurt and her thighs were getting a little soft and she could really use another vacation and on and on.
I kept trying to hide the fact that I was constantly rolling my eyes at her. I’d say things like, “Listen up, honey, stop being so hard on yourself, sit down, chill out and read a goddamn book. You understand a great deal of philosophy so why don’t you put a little of it to use and shut the fuck up.”
Then she’d mope and say, “I know, I just blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.”
This is the point where I’d do everything in my power to ditch her and call up the person I wanted to become. We’d hit the town in search of power, energy, movement or, at the least, a decent conversation. We often found ourselves in amazing times, dangerous times, groundbreaking times. I couldn’t get enough of her.
Our days together were fleeting though. She was always busy making other plans instead of hanging out with me. It must have been this inaccessibility that made her so alluring. I missed her when she was away; she was my best friend.
When she was gone I was forced once again to hang out with the person I’d become. There she’d be, knocking on my door, asking me if I wanted to go get another goddamn beer at the corner dive.
Out of boredom I would usually say ok, but secretly hoped all the while that the person I wanted to become would call from Argentina and tell me it was time to come on down and meet her for a dance.