(I couldn’t think of anything non-cliched to name this).
It isn’t something I’ve noticed in exactly this way, but I do become attached to people, with an almost total inevitability. Or rather, that’s the case with the very few people who are alluring to me, whom I’ve had the good fortune to meet. There are, from my current perspective, three kinds of friendship. This is within the same universe where I have trouble differentiating between different kinds of attraction and relationships, and again in the same universe as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wise words, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” Contrasting things happen within this world, and within my own mind; my world is not my world, I am sometimes not who I am. In truth, the only realistic narrator is an unreliable one. There aren’t three kinds of friendship, but here they are.
There are friends with whom you end up eating lunch with, who you hang out with when both of you are free, because you get along and can laugh together and have a lot in common. An interesting thing about these friends is you aren’t trying to change them; if either of you is too unlike the other, you drift off. You see each other at work or school or parties, and you might learn from each other, but it’s fun, it’s fun, you’re good.
The second, middle one, is the good one. Last January, I had two classes with Cameron right in a row, we walked the same path between them, and I considered how easy and normal it would be to talk to him, and the fact that he seemed quite interesting and I didn’t know anyone at all. I stayed silent, but thankfully, he said hi. Cameron is one of those people with unstoppable energy and life, who has ideas and talks fast and doesn’t stop. One trait of both people and relationships that always draws me is when they tangent endlessly, never circling back to the beginning because there’s always more to share. Cameron has that. This level of friendship is most healthy and most sought, where you spin through the layers of connection. Cameron makes my darkness light, because we walk towards it together, and as it cycles to that point, he understands how and why, and he supports my past as we go.
Secrets are less those things which you do not want to say, and more those which [you figure] people don’t want to hear. Each time I have confided that the cuts on my skin I wrote there myself, I’ve been met with horrified disbelief, with sorrow, minds twisting to take in the information. I don’t keep this secret because I don’t want the world to know, but because the understand I have of this action is not the same as what others will take from it. Because I’m the person you see me as without knowing my ‘secrets’, more than the person I become to you after. But the friends that have uncoiled string and followed the maze of your past, they will wait as you explain. They’ll give advice, but will only judge you honestly.
Lydia asked me to tell her something I’ve never told anyone (Lydia, interestingly, asks for my whole life, while saying it’s as real to her as the invisible gauze threads which you walk through in the forest, brush off, and don’t give thought to whether they were there at all); without probing my mind at all, I could tell her is was no such thing. After unhappily turning away from Friesen, and even four years later when I could honestly say I’d forgiven her, I said I didn’t trust anyone. I found it difficult to think about giving parts of myself to other people, I was so terrified of the repercussions. Nevertheless, I did so with rorschach, and from then, I opened up to Jj. I began to think about these people in school, in everyday life, wanting to tell them what I learned about and the minutely important thoughts that came as I washed the dishes or stared in the mirror or sat among friends I’d known for much longer. Without admitting it to myself, I trusted them with my entire life – and this is what is meant now in saying I become attached. I trusted rorschach with my entire being, and was hurt in my entire being when that trust was unsupported. But I found a way to weave friendships that knew mutual trust, people who knew how to see me with judgment that was honest, and based on my reality. There is a lot about me in the corridors and vaults that the average person would be shocked and hateful of if they knew, but which I have told my best friends, and which they understand.
That draws close to the third type of friendship, which has all the depth of the second, all the secrecy of anything, but rather than easing into blacklit conversations, they’re the starting point. It’s easy to do this online, to find out what your anonymous friend is most afraid of, and what he believes, how she thinks of people, what hurts him the most. You’re part of their struggles, you are called upon to help them through their pain – and they’re who you talk to when you’re in the same position. You become each other’s second skin, they fade into you, you’re attached before you stop to think about whether you even particularly like them.
The first type and latter, you often need as friends. You need people to keep you away from loneliness, to be with you when you step out of the house and live a social existence. On the other side, you need people to feel your pain, to talk you down from various edges, to stir you to comfort and collect your tears. Through time and the spiraling nature of change, some of each move from the sides into the middle. It’s these friends whom you most want, who have all the importance.
Cameron is someone I’ve devoted myself to knowing and caring about, but whom I’m happy to be around, playing board games in Starbucks and arguing over how to study before deciding maybe we shouldn’t do so together. I can’t imagine him ever hurting me, or being capable of hurting me, because I understand him and his motivations, and that is mutual.
It’s so difficult to quantify a friendship. All it is, is shared interests, and being able to connect about them. All love is, is shared feelings and a way to express them. But it’s become more complex as I’ve grown older, as I’ve begun wondering what makes me interesting outside myself, not just in my own mind. It’s been years of being obliviously loved, obliviously admired, only understanding that I was strange and smart. Of course, it doesn’t matter until those you’ve been admiring notice. Then: why?
I’m not answering, I’m only familiarizing myself with the question. I’m only just familiarizing myself with having friends whom I can discuss as a unit, a group of people large enough to be more than isolated individuals.