I’ve never been the kind of person who bumps into friends in malls or movie halls. I can probably count all the friends I’ve ever had and still have some fingers to spare. I don’t know how I have more than a 100 people on my Facebook list. (Although I’ve unsubscribed from all but about 10 or so.) And as you can deduce, I don’t make friends too easily. You’ll probably not like me if you met me. You’d probably wonder who this asshole thinks he is, standing in a corner and smoking, smirking at your jokes and not bothering to utter more than one syllable at a time.
But, despite not ever being the popular one, I’ve often told myself, admittedly with a bit of pride, that the few friends I’ve had have been real friends, in the old-fashioned, pre-social-graph sense of the word. I’ve believed that my friends are not the sort who’ll hug me on the street as if they can’t believe their luck to accidentally see my face, and then never breathe as much as a virtual hello to me until the next pleasant surprise.
So, as basic mathematics dictates, since I have far fewer friends than most people, I devote a much higher percentage of my emotional energy per-friend, than most. Sounds like bollocks, I know, but true nonetheless. Because of this, it becomes a bit difficult to let go. Luckily most of them are still around. But there have been a few who have, well, faded away.
I don’t know why it happens. It can’t be the oceans between us, those have never mattered, not since the age of MSN. It can’t be that we’re different people now. How much can a person change in a few years? Perhaps it’s something you say in passing, words read in the wrong tone of voice, a look that gets twisted before it reaches the other’s eyes. Or perhaps it has nothing to do with you; you, who loves to build improbable plots around oblivious actors. It could be that it’s simply how it goes. As everything else in existence – the brightness of a star, the chill of winter, the tide of the sea – things come and go, in waves and phases. All you can do is accept that simple law of nature; to not give in to foolish, childish beliefs that what you have will last forever; to hold on until you can, and then let go when you have to. All you can do is remember.