Sunday, October 09, 2005


Intimacy. Such a hard thing to accomplish when you try to force it. And so hard to replicate with each friend you have. It seems as if the relationships you wish were more intimate, never happen easily. And the ones you hardly work at, are. And then there are the relationships that were just... meant to be.

Sometimes people you hardly even know, or at least know in the every day sense, are some of your most honest relationships. It's amazing how intimate I am with someone I've known for years, but at the same time, we have spent no time together. But, without a doubt, I know this person through and through, as intimate as can be, even without small details that I treasure in other relationships. I don't think he knows me equally well in return, but he does know a different me, a me that is maybe a little acted out. I am myself, but I get to pretend to be the more desirable version of me because this version is the only version he will ever know. And I like that, the power to do and say and be whatever because the limits of truth and reality are suspended.

I also think of a few people who I wish I had more intimate relationships with. You can't force it to be intimate. But I try anyways. Sometimes it blows up in my face, actually, it usually does. I don't learn my lesson, ever. A girl has to have her flaws, I guess, especially about those who she wishes were more than just friends. I think of one friend, whom I've known forever. But... even with 15+ years of techinal friendship on our resume, I can honestly say I didn't know him-know him until the last 3 or 4 years. I blame myself partially for trying to force a relationship that wasn't there, but I can also put partial blame on him since it is his nature to not be intimate. Once I stopped the forced intimacy, it happened naturally on its own. We are great friends now and I laugh thinking of the idea of anything more. What a mismatch that would be! He knows me quite well, but that's because he is a good listener. That's the role we play, I, the talker, he the listener. It reminds me of another friend, another forced friendship. I let it fizzle after I realized that I was again deceiving myself into this trick version of intimacy. But then amazingly... after our amiable falling out, he came back and wanted to renew our friendship. So maybe I wasn't imagining things. And maybe sometimes, a little force can draw someone in. Unfortunately, I still play this game of "let's make friendship and intimacy happen" regardless of whether it's possible or not. I think I keep trying my luck, because in my mathematical mind, I think the probabilities have to get better with each loss. Or maybe I am playing the lottery with my heart and amassing this ridiculous pile of loser ticket stubs. I guess I won't know until I either win, or I go broke. But the intimacy I gamble for in these friendships are possible of a big payoff, and like a good addict, I can't say no to myself.

Then there are the intimate relationships you have with people you have known forever and spend large chunks of time with. This friend, what I sometimes like to think of as my platonic soulmate, is the person I feel might just know me the most thoroughly. She is kind and crazy and weird, and so great that I cannot help but be the best and generous friend in return. But then it makes me wonder, because our relationship is so right and so free flowing of unconditional kindness and love, it isn't 100% complete because... well, I'm never selfish around this person or extremely bitchy. It's not within my nature to be like that when with this person. She brings the best versions of me out. It's not that I squash the other versions... it's just, they never need to be called out. They are understudies to the truly good and deserving version of me that works hard every day to make an appearance. So, in a sense, she doesn't really have to deal with all of me.

And the reason why that friend doesn't get the selfish me, is because I've saved the selfish me for a different friend or two. The selfish, and incredibly crass friend that I feel I can be completely rude to and harsh and cynical with, and not feel as if I'm ruining a mood. Or feel guilty for being so judgmental and bitchy. With this friend, I let see the worst in me because I see the worst in them, and even with the worst versions of ourselves flying around, we would still pick that worst version over the best version of someone else. That level of intimazy is also hard to find, and I sometimes wonder if maybe that friend knows me best. But really... he doesn't. They know a certain side of me best. Their personality constraints keep our friendship from being on the same level as the prior one. But I don't dislike him for it or wish it to be different. This is what we chose to make of our friendship and it's far more intimate than I ever could have asked for.

Relationships with relatives are by far the easiest. And the worst. You are bound by blood and the abstract idea of family. I just met my cousins in December, and yet here we are living together. And within the last few months, our bond has grown and is thick and lively as the blood that connects us. I don't think I work at this relationship at all. I don't have to, because of that idea of family which branches off to loyalty and an instant familiarity with each other, regardless of how well we might know each other. I also think of my brother, who is maybe, my best friend, in this small life I lead. But really, I have to discount him, because he's family, and yes, we are friends and siblings, but siblings first. And although we share a connection that sometimes makes me wonder if we were twins in a past life, the level of intimacy isn't level with relationships I have with my best friends. Then again, maybe I am trying to compare apples and oranges.

Intimacy in relationships. So different for each person. Maybe each one is a different fruit and I shouldn't try to compare at all. I wonder all these thoughts because I am trying to decide who I think knows me best. Why? Just because... a random question to answer. And the trickiest part to answering that type of question is... which version of me do I think is really me? Which I have to be careful about answering because it can be easily confused with which version of me do I like the best? Even more so... do I know myself well enough to actually be able to answer that question? 22 years worth of friendships and experiences... and I still can't just choose one. Maybe that is me... the fruit basket variety. :-p


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