unrequited friendship

have you ever fallen for someone, a new acquaintance, a not-so new acquaintance, in a big way? in a head-over-heels, i adore this person from the bottom of my tiny heart i could sit at the feet of this person and gaze up adoringly and listen just listen to anything said and treasure any dew drops of attention paid my way–have you ever?

and not in that way, i mean not in the way of i want to marry you and have children with you and share a bed with you and grow old with you, no. i mean in the way of best friends. i want to be your best friend and share secrets and get into scrapes with you and tap all the wisdom of your experience and say oh so casually to people at a gathering: that person over there, the talented, beautiful, intelligent and competent one, that one, that person and i are friends. reaping vicarious fame and accomplishment. rubbing shirtsleeves with an admiring public. yes.

or no. because sometimes that’s just not how it turns out. sometimes the other just isn’t into you. not in that way. the other has other, better friends and no room for more. the other doesn’t admire you, perhaps, the adoration is not reciprocated.

and the desired intimate conversations over a glass of wine do not happen. the shared eyebrow-raising across a room–oh, oh can you believe what was just said, we know better than that, we share a smirk that needs no words. that connection that needs no explanation of why that is funny or why that is not–doesn’t precisely disconnect, no, it never actually hooks up at all. like a ditch dug for new fibre optic wires to link the neighbourhood to the world-wide-web but then money runs out and the cables are never laid and eventually the ditch fills with water in the rainy season and people start talking about hazards and pets and children and eventually no-one remembers the glorious potential that began the venture. nothing gained.

i am left with yearning for something that never happened. loss for something that, never begun, was more missed–like a bus or an opportunity–than lost. how can i mourn for something lost that i never had? it was that tantalizing glimpse of possibility. that dream friendship emerging from the mists of imagining. the smile, the first handshake. the voice and the shining intelligence and the taste in clothes and the political and intellectual priorities and…it didn’t pan out. i am left on the sidelines, an onlooker while others bask in the glory of being in the inner circle. occasional encounters are bittersweet. i wonder if it would be better to cut all ties? would i suffer less?