Dear Best Friend

*If you would like to accompany this piece with music,  press play on the Soundcloud player.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/114700436″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Dear Best Friend,

Remember when we would go to Miles Square Park and you would teach me how to fly your model airplanes? How all of the four Bob’s would just marvel at how well you crashed your planes. How they all thought if you gave me the chance I could build a better, lighter plane than you. I loved when you gave me the transmitter and I saw this tiny marvel in the sky. How with a few clicks I would gently guide the plane to a nearby hill or trees. “Steady now…” you would say. “Don’t go flying over to the military base. You won’t be able to get it back there.” I always wanted to fly it over the military base to see what would happen.

As time passed, I found friends but they never compared to you. You were my rock always sitting at your chair with the TV. Either on a Disney show called Sonny with a Chance or some James Bond movie. Grandma Dorothy was at your side and life was good. I would ask you about the glory days of being in the Navy in World War 2. And you would tell me that you wouldn’t have survived if it weren’t for your appendix bursting. They took you to an island hospital and made you well. You never told me how that made you feel; knowing all of your buddies died while you lived. You never focused on the horrors of war.

Best friend, I met a boy. And he calls me his best friend. For the longest time I just told him I was his, too, because I believed it. But for some reason there was this fuse always going off in my stomach when I said it to him. It’s as if I forgot who my best friend was. Can you have more than one Best Friend? Sure you can, but for some reason, best friend, I didn’t know how to be his truly and completely.

12729518_640202349454374_1992475081_n

The idea of a new best friend had become hollow with all the misadventures of my failed “best friend” relationships. I’m tired of breaking up with friends. You in particular I’m angry about. I had no say in the matter to end our relationship. Isn’t that how it goes? I had a friend once publicly tell me we weren’t friends anymore in the middle of Fremont Street during her graduation weekend. I had come to visit her to watch her graduate from high school and instead she spent the entire weekend clinging to her boyfriend instead of hanging out with me. It’s my one regret because that week I missed out on going to Bonnaroo. You probably wouldn’t have liked it, Best Friend. It’s a week long outdoor music festival where you camp outside and see bands 18 hours out of the day. I hesitate now to call people best friends so quickly. I never factor in the leaving part.

purple_paper_stock_by_ambersstock17112802519_921a851f63_kMedium_0347637

I think there’s a part of me that had to let you go. It’ll be a long process but I’m slowly discovering the side effects of being your friend. You were loyal to the very end. Even in the hospital you squeezed my hand and I knew that was goodbye. I couldn’t say good-bye to you. To this day I will believe you’re just sitting in your chair and watching the birds eat their seeds while some action movie plays in the background. Michelle will bring you an In and Out burger and milkshake and you and Grandma Dorothy will just gnaw on that all day.

My new best friend and I go on adventures. You always wanted to know about them. I tried to take pictures to take back and report to you, so you could pretend you were in Little Tokyo with us getting ramen or at the comic book shop getting something new to read.

I will never forget you, Best Friend.

All my love,

Jen

by Jen Sparkman  | featuring artwork by Gorilla Brigade

Jen Sparkman

Jen Sparkman lives in Los Angeles. When she's not writing she's running an online magazine and working in the film industry. ________________|Tweet @10jen01| http://thearticlesofantiquity.com/ ________________