I come about as expected, really
I don’t think about it often enough, because I’m a selfish, self-centered asshole, but I feel really lucky to have my friends and family, particularly my best friend and my mom. Since the time I truly understood what it meant to be with someone 100% of the way, after I finally realized the world didn’t exclusively revolve around me, on occasion I look at these people like I’m not worthy of them. In the real world, where as a 23 year-old I’m mostly trying to help people who either (a) don’t want my help or (b) couldn’t help themselves even if I could help, I find myself playing the opposite role with the individuals who actually know me. It’s usually not within my means to cede power or control over much of anything, really, but for these few exceptions it’s something I’m comfortable with, strangely.
My dad had this best friend. His name was Floyd. Apparently they went to high school together and, as my dad once told me, did speed regularly. They were close once upon a time. As life would take them, Floyd eventually worked for the government — he and his wife used to work at the Pentagon — and had a shitload of money with a few spoiled, greedy kids to boot, which is usually how it works. On September 11th, 2001, Floyd’s wife died when one of the infamous planes flew into the Pentagon, and Floyd eventually remarried.
What was flummoxing, to me at least, was how little my dad actually communicated with his best friend. When I would answer the phone — back when not every human alive owned a cell phone — Floyd would ask for my dad, naturally, and when I took the phone to him he always sighed and made a face, as if to say Why didn’t you tell him I was sleeping, or something? It’s almost like my dad was blaming me for doing something I thought I was supposed to do, which is pretty dumb.
When Floyd came down with cancer, probably in 2006 or something, he still called the house every week, some weeks more frequently than others. And without fail, every time, my dad made his childish expressions when I handed him the phone, like it was some major chore to talk to his best friend while he underwent dialysis. It just didn’t make very much sense, but then again, not a whole lot my dad does makes sense anymore. Floyd died a few years ago.
Still, I wonder if my dad ever regrets how he basically abandoned his best friend when his best friend very likely didn’t have much of anyone to talk to.
I guess the moral of the story is this: Of the many things I aim to be different at between my father and I, how we each handle our respective best friends is up near the top of my list. I never want to be that guy, doing it that way. As far as friends go, I’m not difficult to get along with, but I’m perfectly happy with the lane I’m already in. I have this obscure way of insulating myself for weeks or sometimes months at a time, but I will never not have enough time for the people who are important to me.
Blind loyalty can be a blessing and a curse, but I’m confident and inevitably comfortable with the choices I’ve made and the people I’ve chosen to be my people. It’s a two-way street, obviously, so my job is to hold true with my end of the bargain.