Lunchboy is on a project in NYC right now, which means a free hotel room in NYC, so next week I’m going down for a few days to hang with him and enjoy a change of scenery.
Unexpectedly, I am also having dinner with H, my ex-best friend of 18 years. Friendships present some strange and unfamiliar territory, particularly when they end or fade away without warning. H fell out of my life two years ago, right when my life was falling apart. Until then, I’d never tested the whole, “crises show you who your friends are and who they aren’t” hypothesis, but it’s a very true statement. When things got bad, she vanished completely, without a warning or an apology. To be honest, I didn’t miss her at all, not even when she popped up in dreams or when I saw something that reminded me of her. All I felt for the first year or so after our friendship ended was relief. There were times when I felt like a horrible person for letting go of her so thoroughly, but then I’d remember how good she was at making everything about her and how much effort it was to be myself in her ultra-competitive eyes. Last week, I picked up a book that had been moldering on my Amazon wish list for a long time and it helped me get some perspective.
H and I will never be best friends again. Under no circumstances will I ever rely on her or open up to her in a real way, and I doubt that she’d want that kind of relationship with me, either. In all likelihood, we will never be more than email acquaintances from here on out and I’m ok with that. But for some strange reason I’m excited to see her next week, even though I’m already wondering what the hell to wear to dinner here, a place I’ve been dying to eat for years. Awkward, uncomfortable, overly optimistic or exhausting—dinner could be any one or all of these, but I still need to do it.