I have always had trouble describing my relationship with Lindsey, though I guess she was my best friend. We were originally physics lab partners, then we started working together at our local Wal-Mart. After I met her, we spent many nights wandering around our piece of Pittsburgh late at night with our mutual friend Jen. Lindsey was not like any of my other friends. She was into dancing, going out on the town, watching movies, just talking for hours. Into the same things I was.
She was a year older than I was, so when I became a senior, she went away to college. We got into the habit of writing e-mails to each other, and at times I got three e-mails from her a week. She told me about anything, and I told her everything. Those e-mails probably described one of the closest friendships I have had with someone. She dated several people during that time, I was always there when she went through a disastrous transition, and I always made her boyfriends jealous. Whenever she would tell me that, I would always get kind of a weird feeling. It is so rare for me to have a girlfriend (I have not had one in about two years), that to have people be jealous of my friendship to a girl was unusual.
When I went to college things changed. She did not, but my priorities did. Life suddenly got a lot more interesting, with lots of interesting people and interesting things to suck up my time. Writing an hour-long e-mail every other day just did not hold as much of an interest to me. It was not that I was tired of being friends with her, but it became my habit to contact only those with instant messenger. If it were not for instant messenger, I do not know how good of friends I would still be with all my other friends at home. I know at Case almost the entire campus uses AIM, so it is the easiest form of campus communication.
I would write the occasional e-mail, but it became a bi-monthly event, and by the end of November, I had not written her in two months. When no one returns your e-mails, it is hard to get the initiative to keep writing, so I stopped hearing from her. The one time I did call her, I was hoping she was going to Pittsburgh that weekend so I could meet my friends, and maybe I could catch a ride. I wanted to hang out with her too, but it came off as “I’m only calling you because I want your car.”
It was Thanksgiving. I was working what would become my last shift at the Wal-Mart where we had both become friends. Taking some boxes to lawn and garden, I saw her browsing in domestics. She did not smile when she saw me, but looked sad. I did not understand why she was sad, but I walked up and said hi anyway. I tried to talk to her for a couple of minutes, but she seemed distracted, and eventually said she had to go find her mother so she could get a ride home. I had said I would call her that weekend. For various reasons, I never called.
I forget when I finally realized how much of a dick I had been to her. She was my best friend my senior year. I had been in high school with nothing to do, but she was in college with a busy schedule, yet she still made the time to stay in touch. As soon as I got to college suddenly she was not important, I could not make the time that she always did.
I was visiting one of my college friends this summer. She lives in Colorado, about a 7-hour drive from Salt Lake. I went and visited her in combination with a family reunion nearby. She is a good friend, and I like hanging out with her, but there was always something that felt like it was missing. When I was driving back with my family, the sun had gone down, the moon was out, and I had Dirty Vegas on my mp3 player. The car was quiet except for the music in my headphones, meaning everyone but my mom who was driving was asleep. Staring into the deserts of southeastern Utah I realized what had been missing. The girl I had gone and visited was not Lindsey. I missed Lindsey.
I have slowly been repairing our relationship. I e-mail her more often now, although not nearly as often as I should. I want to visit her to see how she has been, but my schedule is hard to free up weekend wise.
I know this is in a slightly different tone than the rest of the write-ups in this node as it does not deal with a romantic relationship, but I feel it has the same underlying idea involved.
Communicate with people! Friends and girlfriends are what make life worth living, and you must just drop whatever reservations you have and just reach out and touch someone, otherwise this wild ride will pass you by. The rewards of talking to girls and boys far surpass any inconvenience of taking the time out of your day to call them up, e-mail them, to just stop by.
I’m sorry for making you sad Lindsey. I didn’t know I was doing it, but I should’ve. I don’t know how I’m going to make it up to you, but let me try.