I have a friend, not a close friend but a friend nonetheless, who is on the verge of stardom. It’s impressive. I know him through a close friend, and she in turn is close with him. Even without being super close, I’d say we’ve had plenty of adventures.
In 2006, on the eve of the new year, I remember sitting in my room while he showed me his entry for a Cursive remix contest. He told me it was just for fun and explained how the deconstructed elements were available for download. He wasn’t one of the finalists and I still don’t understand why. One of the finalists couldn’t even get the timing of the vocals right. I still have his original remix MP3 on my iPod.
We paired up for NYE like young people sometimes do, with nothing serious in mind. At midnight, everyone around us kissed as we stood off to the side of the room. In the spirit of the moment, we never really kissed, although there is photographic evidence that we touched tongues. It was not romantic and it’s a bit nauseating, but it was funny and I still laugh at that photo.
I remember he slept in a nest of couches downstairs at my house, and I had to work the next morning. There was something wistful in his eyes when I accidentally woke him up and said, “I probably won’t see you later because I’ll be at the mall all day.” Maybe I should have kissed him right then, if only to say I had.
I visited California with my friends later on, and we stopped in a small college town to connect with our musician friend. He made an off-hand comment about, “Aren’t you married now or something?” in regards to my status with my long-term boyfriend. (The answer was no then, and it was always to remain no.) We sat real close in the back seat; we may have jokingly held hands, I don’t remember.
Years later, he performed at a small bar in my new city. Several of us went to watch his one-man show. As I was standing on the floor, a handsome guy with an Israeli accent came up to talk to me. He said something about, “Isn’t this guy good?” and then asked me if I was the “lucky lady.”
I laughed and said, “Oh no. No, no.” I looked back at the stage where my friend was immersed in his music, sweaty, oblivious to the world around him in that moment.
We were worlds apart, even more so now, but maybe we could have been perfect, in another lifetime.