Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Never Let Me Go

So we were at that wedding last weekend. One of Eric's oldest, and once, closest friends got married. Eric and another high school friend spent the weekend stunned and dismayed at how much their friend had changed. Without putting too much detail out into the internet, I'll just say that he is no longer the person he was when they were young. He chose a different path. One that they couldn't understand and couldn't follow.

And the question for them was: what now? What do you do when your best friend joins a cult, becomes a drug addict, turns tricks, or makes whatever other radical choice that's going turn them into someone you just don't know anymore? When is it OK to just let them go? I mean obviously, if they're doing something harmful to themselves, you're going to try to stop them. Interventions and shit. But what if it's not that extreme? What if it's something that you just don't understand? Like they start listening to Nickleback or get a swastika tattooed on their face?

I've been there. My cousin Kim and I were as close as sisters. People who didn't know we were related thought we were a couple. We grew up together, shared everything, knew each other completely and loved each other deeply. And then, we didn't.

There are too many reasons why to name them, nothing sudden. No falling out, we just drifted. Now she lives far far away, off the grid. We're related, so I know she's still out there. But beyond that, I have no idea. I still think about her every day. I can't think about my childhood, or teens, or even my 20s without thinking about her. But she isn't who she was then. Or is it me? I dunno. Maybe I'm the one who changed.

Someday I'll tell you the story about the time she begged me to let her stick a steak knife up my nose to prove that I loved her.


  1. I think we've all been there. I have two close friends that I have known since Kindergarten. Growing up we were inseparable. At one point in the early 90's, all three of us had relocated to the Twin Cities for different reasons, and ended up running together for 3-4 years as grown ups. It was awesome.

    Then one by one, they moved away. The one that got married, and started a family is still close. The one that remained a perpetual bachelor, started doing heavy drugs, and going out with Hippie chicks has drifted so far we hardly recognize him anymore. I struggled with it for 10 years to try to pull him back, to try to reach out and understand his new life. In the end, I have just decided to let go. We each choose our own path. Sometimes those paths diverge, never to cross again.

  2. I've let go of people too. And some let me go too. It's still strange but I accept it. People's lives become very complicated. Distance divides us too.


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