I once had the best of friends... someone who really got me you know? The kind of friend that could look at me and know when I was hurting just by my eyes; knew when I was mad by the smile I used.... I threw away the perfect friendship by dating the guy.
But you know, life sometimes throws unexpected curve balls at you when you didn't even know you were standing at the plate.
Now, this dating relationship lasted for about a year and a half some decade ago, and it ended badly. But at odd intervals over the next few years, we ran into each other. The earliest encounters were met a bit frigidly, then just coolly, and finally rather tepidly with no real reaction at all.
One time, however, there was real chemistry again. Not the romantic kind, but more of a dynamic need to find acceptance in each other after all. Both of us desired to find that friendship that was once so treasured, and I think we both knew it was still there, if either of us would rid the pig-headedness and simply begin with an apology. So we shared a shockingly honest couple of hours over a long lunch. I left the meeting with a real optimism that somehow we could return to a place of origin for us, and create something beautiful again.
That didn't happen. Again, years passed with no cause to communicate. Eventually I forgot to concern myself with the whole matter and filed the friend-that-once-was deep into my box of good memories.
I did, however, remember what he was professionally. A day came when I needed him as a contact for a business matter, so I called him. Whatever good will came out of that one lunch was now hidden under a fear of ulterior motives and the like, and it did take a bit of convincing on my part that my correspondence was benign. I felt hopeless, like I had as a disillusioned youth, that my friend was indeed passed into the realm of ghosts to me.
Then I got hit with that curveball I mentioned earlier. He called a week later, to tell me that he had indeed held up his end of the business bargain, and to ask if I'd like to join him one evening for dinner and to "catch up". I must insert here that we did have an awfully lot in common from the very first day, and our similar interests had always given us reason enough to stay in touch. I agreed, knowing I would not get another chance, considering I was days away from moving to another state, my house being full of packed boxes and awaiting only the moving van.
And dinner was perfect. We talked about our individual journeys through life, our latest news, and very little of our past. We admitted that we were both headstrong youths too full of ourselves to realize what great conspirators we were as friends, and how co-dependent and weak we were as a couple. So we laughed ourselves silly at our past.
In that laughter I found - finally - the friend I had always had. He never turned his back on me as much as he mistrusted me, and I, him. It was wonderful to rediscover a kindred spirit. Moving seemed more of a beginning than an ending, as it would be from my new life that my old friend would be communicating with me. And so it has been, with profound opportunities to share our common creativeness from across great distances, but with an ease and trust of each other that has been absent since we first stepped across the line into dating all those years back.
It is to my great relief that having - and taking - the chance to open myself up to him, complete with a litany of apologies and admitted mistakes, ended in regaining the trust of a man who is beautiful inside for his strength of character, his integrity, and his capacity to transcend pettiness and mistrust.
I never explain my poetry, figuring that it should be up to the reader to find meaning in it that is applicable to them individually. But I'm going to make a statement about "This Moment"; The ending can read as though the two people had a secret tryst. The reality of such a tryst is false. The symbolism is simply that two people bared their souls to each other, not knowing nor caring whether that would prove to have painful emotional results when "the moment" was gone and they went back to their everyday lives. I think this is important to mention only because too often it seems the most beautiful interpretations of life/art are overlooked in favor of the ones better suited for gossip, slander, and shock. This poem is designed to be ambiguous in it's meaning, but the backstory is not. And even after spoon-feeding you a bite of the poem, I hope you, dear reader, still find your own interpretation and meaning within it.
The following poem is dedicated to the beauty and innocence of friendship, and inspired by Joe.