I met you at a restaurant I’d never been to in our hometown. It had been at least 6 months since we had last talked. Or maybe more. My sense of time was always warped in our friendship. All I could focus my mind on was the unavoidable eeriness of being in a new place with an old friend – two matching stools against a dingy bar.
I still look at our old polaroids on my fridge sometimes. Sitting on the floor of my first apartment at 19 – a dirty living room floor disguised in big drawing papers and pens and pencils spread all over the place; we were constantly creating with little purpose. It was the kind of anxious freedom I always imagined birds feel when it’s time for a new migration.
Every night you’d drive straight from your shitty part time job to my apartment around 10pm. This was a given – a text to confirm our nightly ritual wasn’t necessary. I’d open the door every night and give you a huge hug, as if I hadn’t seen you just 24 hours before. We’d sit on my floor with my roommates and you’d pack us all a bowl of the little bag you could barely afford but would still share with all of us. We had nothing but what we had was all of ours. This was also a given.
I remember the first time I told you my girlfriend wasn’t so kind to me anymore. We were driving around our neighborhood in your jeep, passing a bowl back and forth and listening to our favorite band: I still love her, loved her more when she was sober and I was kinder. You always had this way of reaching out to my aches and pulling them into your own heart, just to make sure your warm words came straight from the heart. And it always worked.
I can’t piece together exactly when you became a shitty best friend. Somewhere between the lines off your kitchen counter and the pride that came with being able to afford way more than a little bag of weed, your spirit left your body and all that was left was a walking corpse going through the motions. Your warm words turned into a whirlpool of spastic judgments.
Our parallel stools against the bar that day ironically became the fork in the road that officially split us from us to me and you. I came to you with an ache so deep from a girl who bruised every inch of 100-pound body. I came to you with a desperate attempt to fill up my empty little heart after two years of being robbed of my self worth.
But I had already lost you. At some point hate had come rushing to what used to be your vast heart. Somewhere between your claims that the nature of my love is unnatural and your lack of sympathy towards what could’ve ended me as I was, you left me in the dirt, on the floor. Not the kind of dirtiness left on my first apartment’s living room floor after a long night of drinking forties and talking about our plans of taking over the world. But the kind of dirtiness that leaves the heart with this eerie, lack of emotion.
I took the last warm sip of my beer and left you alone to your own stool. And it’s been a long time, which agrees with this watch of mine. And I guess that I miss you. And I’m sorry that I dissed you.
PANTS by Tobi
KIMONO by Tobi
Lyrics by Modest Mouse
Photos by Beth Kotz