To my best friend Mick,
I’ve always been hesitant to call someone my best friend. I’m nervous that I’ll find out I’ve misread the whole friendship and they’ll be offended by my inflated sense of intimacy. Or that they’ll have another friend pop out from behind a door or out of some bushes and shout, “You fool! You can’t be best friends! She already has a best friend!” and brandishing half of a Claire’s best friend necklace as proof.
I’m never certain why someone would want to be friends with me in the first place. There are the obvious things of course: I’m always down for a road trip and I’ll usually buy you coffee and if you’re having an existential crisis or emotional meltdown, I’m your gal. But there other, more frequent things, like the fact that I give birthday presents 3 to 5 months late, if at all, or that I’m not nearly as funny as I think I am, that I’m no good with feelings and I fidget a lot.
I like to think I’m a decently self-aware person so I know my personal pitfalls and triumphs and would still rather hang out alone most Friday nights than go out with friends and still I find myself annoying. The fact that you’ve stuck around for this long makes me a little suspicious.
I’m suspicious of a lot things. Things going well, crushes liking me back, friendships and doctors and cows and cold weather. I like to be certain of things, I need things spelled out, I want to know why and how things work.
I like things in black and white. Coloring books stress me out and I keep reading articles about color theory hoping that it’ll make me better at color palettes. I have only one color tattoo. I keep thinking I’ll get another but every time I go in and they lay down the first outline in ink, I like it too much to mess things up by adding color.
This is why I’m good with letters, not the writing of but the drawing: they have definite and familiars lines and curves and forms that you learned in kindergarten and haven’t changed much sense. You can experiment with angles and design but a Q is still a Q.
Our friendship has always been a long distance one. We’d only been friends for a few months before we parted for eight. Almost our entire relationship has been us writing to one another but the first physical letter I ever sent you was in an envelope full of confetti mailed all the way to Germany. I’d say I’m sorry about the mess but I’m really not.
It took me way too long to learn that there are all different sorts of relationships, that you can have more than one best friend, that you don’t have to know why a friendship works as long as it does.
This is going to be HELLA awkward if your feelings about our friendship are only lukewarm at best and have been looking for the perfect time to tell me.
Your (best?) friend,