The first time I watched porn was in your garage. The first time I got drunk at a high school party, your trampoline was the first I drunkenly jumped on, and later lay and spun on.
You dropped me off at the end of my driveway so I wouldn’t get in trouble. You followed me home when the drive wasn’t that far. We sat in the back of the bus and shared the headphones to your walkman as Third Eye Blind sang a song to us you claimed matched your future relationship status. We drew pictures on each other’s notebooks. We went to basketball games together. At the Ozarks, we swam in the pool and spun on the ropes and smoked cigarettes. You grabbed my foot in p.e.; you complimented my school picture; you poked me awake in Spanish; you watched me doodle in Health; you teased my grammar expertise in Lit. You passed me notes and told me I was your best friend. Yours was the first quiet I felt warm in. We sat in the heat of your truck in the winter when we were too cold to socialize. We got our own room during study hall. I was always trying to stretch out those moments, always knowing that I was fighting futilely. I can’t remember ever dancing together, but we took pictures all dolled up together. I watched you build that shed on the highway. You noticed when I drove past, even though you never waved. You called me freshman year, and we sat in silence on the phone as I wandered the aisles of wal-mart. The only one under the fluorescent lights that late at night.
I threw away your letters. I expected to outgrow you. I expected us not to recognize one another. I used to imagine the moment, and it was nothing like reality. It never is– is it? I used to imagine how you would grow up to be. Not thinking it was possible. But you did it. You’ve done it.
When I sat next to you, the years were there, obviously. They were present in your voice, in the wrinkles around your eyes, in the shape of your head. They were there in my arms, in my posture, in my laugh. I know.
But the years were easily breached. And suddenly this inventory of you I had locked away popped open for me to sort. I have grown up and filled out and am rounded to the edges with what there is of me. You seemed the same, except you told me you’ve quit smoking. All these years I thought I had been wrong about you, but seeing you, I realized I was right. There’s nothing quite like seeing the ones you love become actualized. I’ve always known you, and I don’t think there will ever be a time we can’t know each other. I’m beginning to wonder if that’s true for most people.