The other night, as I drove home after an evening of sharing, listening, talking, “Not Dark Yet” by Bob Dylan came on the radio. Feeling a little melancholy, I immediately thought of you, my former best friend. I can’t believe we live so close to one another, despite being a couple thousand miles from our hometown, and yet I don’t know you anymore. You don’t know me, either. Our lives have moved so far from one another and it seems really strange because for so many years, since we were kids, we were best friends. I thought it was so special that a girl and boy could be best friends and never have to become Harry & Sally. We spent so many hours talking, listening to music, watching tv, doing nothing, playing guitar, singing in the car, going to concerts… oh the concerts. I saw my first concert with you- I think it was your first too. Billy Idol, Rebel Yell. 1984. Your mom brought a book and read in the 11th row and we laughed when we smelled pot in the air for the first time. You looked like Anthony Michael Hall and I was Molly Ringwald. We watched each other fall in love with other people, had our hearts broken, talked about everything . We would stop talking for unknown reasons and then we would be friends again. We were good, good friends.
People assumed we would get married one day. I think we were the only two who didn’t agree. That’s not to say we didn’t wonder. I can only speak for myself when I say I wondered. I felt it was at least something I should ask myself and you- was our friendship more? I wasn’t even asking because I wanted us to be together like that, I just wanted to make sure we weren’t ignoring something. But I think that my asking the question changed our friendship. I’m sorry if it did.
I remember when you got married. I was so happy for you both. I remember when you started dating her and I saw how happy you were and when I saw you two together, I knew it was good stuff. I also remember feeling left out. Not because I was jealous or wanted to be in her place, but because I saw your new life and knew I wouldn’t be part of it. I saw other friends be part of your joy and I was now on the outside. For some reason, I always thought I’d been a groomswoman in your wedding, and when you and the guys were all were talking about seeing Levon Helm in New York and I kept thinking, “Why wasn’t I there?” The girl you were best friends with since childhood would have been there with you guys, just as she was when we waited at midnight for gas in Wisconsin after seeing The Who. I realized that there was no longer a place for a grown woman in this friendship of men.
It hurt for a long time, I was angry and I resented you. But now, I am just happy to have such good memories and hope they are good ones for you, too.
I bet you are a good husband and a good dad. I have no doubt that you work really hard to make a good life for your family. I also am certain that you are a good man. I hope you still play guitar a lot. You play beautifully and I miss singing with you. Especially Dylan.