Historical Associations

It's been a thought tickling around in the back of my brain, but a post about finding a friend thought lost by a good friend of mine (Jebus, that's a construct and a half. Note to self: Simpler sentences!) got me thinking about it a bit more.

I've never been one for many friendships. The people whom I consider to be my friends are infinitely precious to me, as a product of both their individual merits and their scarcity. As it is, I don't see enough of the people that matter to me, so I clutch those moments close.

However, over the course of my life, I've let go of, or been let go by, a few friends.

Farthest back was Daniel, a kid across the street in Clairmont. It was a typical 6-year-old's lament -- his parents moved away. Looking back, I suspect that I was more "into it" than he was, setting a pattern that I believe holds even today, although to a lesser extent as I become more selective in my associations.

There's a scattering of loose acquaintances throughout elementary and junior high, but the only friends I really had during those years (that I can remember, of course) were Cody and Eric, neither of whom had anything to do with my school life. Cody was a farm kid, something of a troublemaker. I remember his dad's house was the coolest place in the world, and the barn was the only place I've ever been scared of the dark. I remember some filthy-minded conversations, stealing our respective parents' porn, and the fact that it was a friend of his that introduced me to Elfquest. It was also at his birthday party (13th, I think) that I played the most lascivious game of Truth or Dare that I can remember... Ah, Kate. Never meant to be, I think, but it was fun :) I was 14, at the time. Last I heard, Cody was working at a gas station in GP, but that was at least seven years ago.

Eric... How to explain Eric? This was the first friendship I ever flat-out ended. Eric could be a good guy, but mostly he was... Well, I didn't like the person I was when he was around. It's hard to quantify. He did some bad things to someone that was a close family friend, and that more or less ended things right there. I'm curious where he's at, now. I haven't heard anything about him in years. I can only hope that, flawed as his father may have been, he takes after dad and not his mother.

Dennis and DJ -- Never really close. See Daniel, above, for the nature of this friendship. Still, they were good guys. I've bumped into both of them a couple of times since graduating, and I gather they're doing well. It's been probably five years since I saw either of them, but I still wonder.

Ryan was a pain in the ass. We lived together for a while, but he was ... well, he was like me, sans moral compass. Which is not to say I was perfect those days, either, but all the same, I had an idea that some of the things I was doing were wrong. When it came to respect for others' property, he's about as low as it goes.

Shaun was one of my oldest friends. From a common interest in Dungeons and Dragons, through years of geekly association, we were friends for almost a decade. We kind of drifted apart. He lives in Edmonton here, last time I heard he was working for Telus, and has possibly as many as two children. I don't know what happened, to be honest. First we were friends, then we were not. It was a weird enough situation that I still (to this day) am not 100% sure that it wasn't him that destroyed my apartment in GP.

Now that I'm in Edmonton, there's been a veritable whirlwind of brief friendships, barely quickened from mere acquaintances. So many people in a bar crowd stand out for a moment, maybe flirt, maybe hang out, maybe sleep together, and then they recede into the morass. I'm thinking Lindsey, Jess, Candace (Amber, I suppose), Shane, Andi...

I know that some of these have meant more to me than they did to the other person. I find myself constantly fighting the urge to call and cling to the friends I have -- I know that people have social obligations that take more time than mine do -- having a small circle of friends will lead to that. Still, I like the people in this group now.

Time will tell, of course. It always does.

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