Chopsticks . . . have you ever given them much thought beyond your carry-out order of chicken fried rice? Whether they are plain, basic chopsticks made out of bamboo, or ornate chopsticks made from jade or ivory, one chopstick still needs its mate so that together they can fulfill their purpose.
Friendship is the same. Now matter how you dress it up, no matter what the people look like, what their histories are, where they come from, without a second person to call a friend a man or woman is just alone. They are just a stick.
Over the course of my 40 years on this earth I have had the privilege of being one of the sticks in many sets of chopstick friendships. My first real best friend was name Jennifer. She lived across the street from me when I was about 7 or 8 years old. She and I were inseparable . . . until I moved away at the age of nine years old. I never saw her again. Since then there has been Molly, Jill, Tiffany, Bill, Chris, John, and Brian. Did you see what happened there? That very glaring and obvious change in the pattern of my best friends?
Each and every one of those people contributed something to who I am today. I carry a little part of each of them in my personality and in my heart. Some of the friendships ended on bad terms. Some of the friendships ended because we simply grew apart. But for a while, to each other, we were chopsticks.
It’s been a little more than a year since I was last a chopstick to anyone else. Brian was my last chopstick friendship. This has been a hard year for me. I still miss him terribly. I thought I was healed. I thought I had let go of the anger and sadness that his departure lit up inside of me. But then I saw him a couple of months ago. In a freak coincidence, we were on the same road at the same light, and he was in the car right behind mine. Since then he keeps popping up in my Timehop and Facebook feeds.
I have been reticent to open myself up to that kind of friendship again, like I had with Brian. Maybe I’m scared. Maybe I’m afraid of being let down or hurt again. Maybe I’m still hoping that he’ll call or text just to see how I am.
Maybe I’m hoping that he’ll see this post and realize that he misses our friendship, too.
I’ll be honest. There have been many times where I have almost sent him a text message, or almost “accidentally” called him. But I can never bring myself to do it. He walked away from our friendship. He must have felt like he had good reason. If he wanted our friendship to continue he either wouldn’t have walked away, or he would have contacted me again by now.
But just in case . . .
I miss you. I miss the way we talked about everything and nothing all at the same time. I miss the way we laughed together at the dumbest things. I miss you being the levelheadedness to my glitter and rainbows. I miss arguing with you just because I couldn’t stand for you to be right, even when I knew I was wrong. I would give just about anything to hear from you again, even if it is just one last time. I miss my brother. I miss my friend. I miss Skitch.