Transient Friends

I try to keep my circle tight,
That way I avoid squares.
An introvert by nature,
People think they know me.
Quiet. Reserved. Happy.

Then they get to know me.
And what do you know?
Surprise!
I’ve changed.
Loud. Talkative. Cocky.

I’m too old for small talk.
Please, don’t waste my time.
Surrounding myself with intellects.
Discussing ideas – thoughts – opinions.
Not people.

It’s grounding.
Sometimes it makes me feel small.
Sometimes I want to be small.
Sometimes I need to be small.
Unseen. Hidden. Lost.

“We’re friends – you have to agree with me.”
I think, “Because we’re friends is why I don’t.”
But, now I revert.
The noiseless introvert that made you want me.
I want to be wanted.

So if you’re wrong I won’t vocalize it.
That’s how this happens,
I just nod.
There’s no need to speak.
Why bother? It falls onto deaf ears.

The tension remains.
“The air feels heavy now.”
I say it’s the humidity.
I leave.
Distant. Lonely. Empty.

Held at arms length – where I prefer to be.
Don’t cuddle me with your body.
Strangle me with your hands.
That’s where I belong.
Pain. Broken. Worthless.

“Don’t get to know me. You won’t like me.”
“That’s not true!”
But it is.
I don’t like me.
So why would you?

The closer we get.
The harder it is.
Vulnerability.
I hate it.
I just don’t want to be forgotten.

Take me forever or leave me for now.
Because once I give you me,
You’ll  eventually get all of me.
Because I don’t give myself to just anyone.
And I don’t want just anyone to give themselves to me.

Special. Unique. Friendship.

Making Friends as an Adult is Weird

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Remember when we were kids and everyone was friends? Looking back on my childhood friendships I can’t even begin to tell you how they started and if I can it was over something so minuscule that it makes me wonder why it’s so hard to do it as an adult. I had one best friend from first grade until 7th grade. We became best friends because she was new to our school and drew a picture of her family because she missed them and was lonely instead of whatever first grade assignment we had. Our dirtbag teacher yelled at her, she cried, I told her it was a really pretty drawing and asked her who each person was. BOOM! 7 year friendship. Sometimes I wonder where I’d be in my life right now if she didn’t get “sent away” in 7th grade.

Other friends I had as a child were because we both liked the same sports team or played in the same little league. In spare time we would just play catch or flag football after school. It was so simple.

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Even in high school it wasn’t all that hard. I mean, I had a rough first 6 months of high school.  I was a big fish in a small pond in elementary school – class president, all star on the basketball and softball teams, 3rd highest GPA in my class. Then in high school I realized I was a natural introvert until forced from my shell. I was 1 of 4 white kids in my class and was also in the honors program. I didn’t quite fit in with the smart kids and was excluded from the general public. Once basketball season started I made more friends. Starting with the common connection of sport and leading into all other bullshit aspects of life at the time. Thinking this teacher was cute, going to see that movie on Friday, how gross Tuesday’s lunch was.

I’m not even going to pretend I made a friend completely on my own in college. I was at my lowest in college. Any friend I made was through a mutual friend.

Then boom. You blink your eyes and your an adult. I literally just turned 27 and I’m like “What?” I’m “friends” with co-workers, but am I really? At my last job I LOVED my co workers. Texting them, hanging out for drinks after work, playing pool with them when it was dead. They never really knew me though. We were tied together by proximity and scheduling. We knew each others common interests, bought each other birthday/Christmas presents, I went to a few of their family members wakes/funerals. At the time I remember thinking, if I got married today – all these guys would be invited.

Then the place got shot down. Thankfully, most of us had moved on from the pizza place or were in the process of moving on. Since then we all only hung out one time. I’ve tried countless times to “get the gang back together,” but there is always something going on. Needless to say I haven’t seen all of them in about a year and a half. It makes me wonder if we were all really friends or just forced to enjoy each others company.

Even now at my current job. I talk to a lot of people. Follow them on social media. At work functions I always have a group of people to hang out with. Sometimes I meet up with a few of them for lunch and we talk about things other than work. I’ve met their families. Then I wonder, if I were to leave this job right here – right now, would I ever see or talk to any of these people again?

All of my friends are from childhood (or through a friend from childhood). They’re stuck with me. They all know a lot about me and a lot about my family, not all of them know EVERYTHING about me, but enough. I can say things without thinking and know at the end of the day they’ll be my friend regardless. I can get black out wasted, panic about what I said or did, have drinkers remorse, apologize to them for nothing, and they’ll be like, “Caitlin you’re fine! You were having fun! Don’t worry!” I love that. (Not the drinkers remorse – I hate blacking out) I love that even if I don’t see or talk to some people from childhood, they are always there for me. They want to hang out with me. We find time to fit each other into our lives because we care about each other.

It’s so freaking difficult to make friends like that after college. Maybe it should be? The world breaks us all ever so slightly. We become jaded and untrusting. How come I complimented my 6 year old friends drawing and we became best friends, but I can compliment some girl in a bar bathrooms shirt and that’s that? Not that I want to befriend everyone who compliments me, but I guess my ultimate question is why? Or how come I meet people at work and we’re cool, but we don’t want to see each other beyond that?

I think we should continually be trying to make friends. Real friends. And no I am by no means a quantity over quality kind of gal, but it’s nice to know someone out there cares about you and they should be reminded of it. My friends from childhood, I’ll send a text every now and again just reminding them how much they mean to me. They should know that. No matter how low they’re feeling in this world, they mean so much to at least one person. I’m also eerily haunted by Matt Kennon’s “The Call.”  As an adult any friends I’ve made, might find that creepy.

Which begs the question of why is it so hard to make friends as an adult? For a long while it’s like walking on eggshells around them. Also, it’s hard to find people who actually want to make time for you in their life as an adult. Being an adult is fucking hard. All we really want to do is sleep.  Then you get to toss in a lot of friends being married/in relationships, weird work schedules, families to take care of, kids. Who the heck has time to squeeze me in? You’re better off just keeping the childhood friendships who understand your chaos, seen you at your worst, and sneak them in for dinner with the family then some wine after the kids go to bed and be knocked out by 10 pm.

So here you have little old me, adult, single, no family to look after, shitty work schedule, but available at night, and just wanting to hang out with more people because most of my childhood friends are becoming legitimate “adults” and I just don’t think I’m ready for that. So when we make a new friend you gotta hold tight, hope they don’t suck, while also trying not to suck yourself. Then if you’re lucky, they become just as great and comforting as the childhood friend. Sadly, it just takes a little more effort. But anything worth having is worth a little but of effort.

 

 

The Call.

I’m just going to start this off by letting anyone who reads this know – this isn’t going to be funny. It’s going to be very serious, probably a little “rambly”, and coming from a strong emotional state so bear with me.

There are few calls we expect in our lives that we know we’re going to eventually get. Those calls that no one wants to ever receive. The loss of a parent, an emergency hospital trip for a child, a random health issue for a spouse.

Today, I received a call.  A call that no one wants to get. A call that happens, but I never expected would happen to me.

You see, this weekend was the weekend for a friend of mines bachelorette party. I’m not in the wedding, but my two absolute best friends on the planet – matching tattoos – never find another like them, friends are in it. Along with other long term, close friends, including the bride. I was invited to the bachelorette weekend, but had to decline because I had already planned a family trip to California this week.

My friends and I made jokes about how they were stuck in the cold, it was going to snow on the East Coast, I should be forced to be there, but noooo I chose sunny, 70 degree, snowless, California.

It seemed normal, aside from my confusion with the time change. I would watch their snap stories, check their instagrams, see all the fun they were having. Truthfully feeling a little jealous of the memories they were making without me.

I saw on many of their stories how the snow caused their party limo to be stuck on the side of a road because the road was shut down.  Knowing my friends though, they made the best of that situation too. I told my family and other friends who weren’t there about the limo. We were cracking jokes about their situation.

I’d noticed no one snapped in a while.  My texts weren’t being responded to. Again, I thought nothing of it.  I mean, my texts weren’t anything spectacular. Maybe they were living in the moment instead of snapping, there was a significant time change, and they were all likely hungover I assumed.

Then it happened.  The Call.

I want to preface that everything could be much much worse. I’ve actually seen it be much worse, but I’ll get to that.

The Call.

It was about 4:30 in sunny California.  My emotions were all over the place as they’ve been lately. I was driving with my family to meet my cousins to go take out a Duffy Boat. It was going to be a great night. Then I get a call from one of my two best friends. I almost send it to voicemail because I’m in a car and thought that it’d be weird to answer. But, this friend and I never really talk on the phone so I say F it and answer.

She gets right to the chase.

Emily: “Cait, before I say anything I want you to know everyone is fine.  “Sally” doesn’t feel comfortable talking about it so don’t mention it, “Jen” doesn’t want anyone to know yet, and “Alice” doesn’t want anyone to know what she did”

Me: “ok…”

Emily: “Last night, our party limo was stuck on a road and the driver decided to do a 3 point turn to get out of it.  There was a car coming, he was going really fast, especially in the snow, and he plowed into the limo, he t-boned us. Everyone is alive Cait, but it’s really bad.”

This is a call I never thought I’d get. This isn’t a call I should get. My friends are all great people, they contribute to society, they have well paying jobs, they work hard and party very infrequently.

Me: “Jesus Christ, how is everyone, what happened?!”

Emily: “Well I kind of blacked out, most of us have concussions. “Sally” saw the whole thing, she wasn’t drinking. She’s really scarred, she banged her head so hard on the windshield. “Jen” was screaming the whole time at the guy that hit us. She kept screaming “you killed her!” because “Alice” couldn’t find a pulse on “Mary.” She started doing CPR until the ambulance arrived. “Mary” broke her back in like 3 places. “Karen” was really messed up. She lost a bunch of teeth. Her face was covered in blood. I had to take off my clothes to apply pressure to the wound. There was just so much blood. Everyone is banged up, those two are still in the hospital, but the rest of us are going to be ok. It was scary though Cait, horrific.”

That’s the call I got. Here I am. Pining over minuscule things in my day to day life. Thinking about the girl on Bumble who won’t message me back when all I want to do is meet her. Taking in beautiful California. Not wanting to go back to work this week. Questioning why this post didn’t get that many likes on Facebook.  All the while, unbeknownst to me, I could’ve lost every friend that means the world to me, friends I could not live without, friends that are more than friends to me, all in one clean sweep.

I could’ve been in that limo. I should’ve been in that limo. Timing was the problem. I could’ve been sitting where Mary and Karen were sitting. I could’ve been where Jen was, causing her to be closer to Mary and Karen, causing her to get hurt as well.

My friends all saw something, experienced something, that I’ll never know.  All I have is this call.

This call is enough for me to put my life in perspective. To stop worrying about the social media, to take life less seriously, to truly experience things.

When my cousin was in college, ironically the one I came to visit in California, he went out with some friends on a snowy night in New Haven. He was supposed to go back to the dorms in the first car, but chose to go in the second. The first car got into a horrific accident. Some of his friends died, some have lifelong injuries. He made a call – to my mom. My mom had to go to Yale Hospital at 4 am to help my cousin because his friends were dead and dying, he could’ve been dead or dying, but he ended up going in the second car.

I don’t know how to feel.  I just know I needed to type this out.

I know I feel fragile. I know I feel helpless. I’m the mother to my friends. I’m the one they call when they need a ride, when their car broke down, (before Uber) when they had too much to drink. I’m the one they look to when they need someone to be strong. I’m the one who will lend money out whenever times are tough. I’m their protector. I feel like I wasn’t there to protect them.

I feel small.