(Points if you can identify what song that line comes from!)
I have to disagree with that sentiment, though. Some friendships endure. Some ebb and flow. Some, unfortunately, just peter out.
Fresh grad Classy in Philly recently blogged about the disappointment of losing touch with people she thought were real friends. How, post-college, they stopped calling and emailing…and generally failing to live up to the definition of “friend”.
Unlike her, I didn’t have the traditional uni experience. I moved in with BF right before starting my first semester. I lived out in the suburbs. Hell, I lived out west, and only about three other people on my course could say the same thing. I really took my studies seriously, even though first year comms was far from gruelling. I had rent and bills to pay, so for me, uni wasn’t even less of a bubble than high school, it really was the real world. Sure, I was sheltered by receiving a student allowance, but that didn’t cover all the essentials, and it didn’t cover term breaks, either.
So I didn’t really have friends at uni. I had a couple of people I went for coffees with, and sometimes sat with in class. It wasn’t till we were all thrown together in our final year as journalism majors that I formed any meaningful relationships. Even then, we didn’t go out on Friday nights together. We stumbled home exhausted – if we weren’t going to work, or toiling on in the newsroom.
I do, however, know what it’s like to lose a friend. We went to school together for, oh, a solid 10 years. He lived around the corner from me. We got on like a house on fire, traded barbs, and once we got to high school, walked there and back together. We put up with each other’s foul moods (you think I’m temperamental? I had nothing on him) and discussed everything from the true extent of Kurt Cobain’s talent to the meaning of human existence. He introduced me to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, for chrissake.
And then after years of that, we got together. The “relationship” lasted six months. It never went anywhere, physically or otherwise. Nothing had changed.
We broke up. I got another boyfriend. He got jealous, and after a year or so of various dramas and sniping, we stopped talking. He moved over the Harbour Bridge – which might as well be the other side of the world for an Aucklander – and we went our separate ways – me to AUT, him to AU.
Sometimes I miss those halcyon days. On the very rare occasion I run into him, I catch glimpses of the person who used to know me better than anyone else. And there’s nothing worse than making small talk with someone you could once sit in comfortable, companionable silence with.
I’ve changed. He’s changed. From time to time, I hear updates through the grapevine – and while in some ways he’s stayed exactly the same, in others, he’s continued the metamorphosis he begun right about the time our friendship began to rot. I don’t know what he thinks of me today, but for both our sakes, I know it’s better that we don’t have contact, even as acquaintances.