Monday, January 26, 2015

Late Night Hugs



There has got to be something wrong with me. If I can't push out a 700-word blog on my regular agenda, I think there's something off-centered with my head. Either that or 30-hour road trips to recruit students in SoCal have my internal clock on some kind of confusing schedule. Either way, I apologize for the tardiness of this blog. I know you need your entertainment.

For full effect, download "The 2nd Law: Isolated System" by Muse and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

"Brock, we never hang out. What has happened?" a pretty girl asked me last night just before 8 pm as a foursome and I were knee-deep in funny stories about past failed relationships and Dr. Mario battles. Yes, I'm almost 30 and every once in a while I relive the childhood I never had and play Dr. Mario with my friends on Sunday nights to relieve stress. It's a lot better than tipping back a bottle of Jack. Don't judge.

"We don't hang out because I'm not important to you. And that's okay." I said. For the record, don't misinterpret my last comment to be a woeful stab of self-pity in hopes that I would somehow get this girl to take a few moments out of her life and talk to me. It was the truth. It was reality. And I was only stating the facts to an old friend, nothing more.

"What do you mean you're not important?

"I'm not a priority." I said.

"Oh, so you know my priorities now do you?"

"I do."

"What are they?" She asked.

"In this order. A number 1, finishing up this semester and graduating with your degree in Dental Hygiene. B number 2, finding a career somewhere in Salt Lake, or Oregon, or somewhere crazy that's not St. George. And C number 3, finding a man you can boss around and be romantically tied to for the rest of your life. Am I right?"

As I said these words the stare of reality came across her face as she realized that things have changed, and the friendship that at one point in time she and I both cherished had diminished to a more elevated form of an acquaintance. We were now just a little deeper than average surface friends. Friends who could get together and reminisce about the days when we rode tandem bicycles around the city, or our heated games of Mafia where we would lie through our teeth to one another. People who were technically classified as friends, but really better known as associates who would forget about each other and go back to our regular scheduled programming once the night was over. We didn't matter to one another. And that was okay. That's how life goes sometimes.

"Yeah, you're right." She said quietly.

For the record, this may be the first and only time in my near three-decade existence that a member of the female gender has said those three words in that order to my face.

The games went on, the dialogue continued, nothing really magical happened after that exchange, but in the back of our heads we held on to that cold, cruel fact that things change over time. Friends come and friends go. Things that at one point in time meant something to us, had significance in our eyes, didn't really hold their same value anymore. We subconsciously realized that over time our relationship had morphed, as all relationships do. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad, sometimes just neutral evaporations into acquaintanceship. People come in and out of our lives for different reasons. And most of the time there is no way to control how or when or why they will be with us. That's just life kids. Kind of screwy, I know.

As the clock struck midnight and we finally told the little children inside all of us to finally go back into hiding, the pretty girl who flosses teeth for a living got off my couch and said she was finally turning in for the night.

"I'm too old for a late-night run to Denny's." She laughed as she laced up her shoes.

It was at that point when I realized that for a few hours of her life, an old friendship became a priority to her. A golden, celebrated companionship with a handful of fellow friends that had now become dusty and rustic to all of us, had suddenly vaulted the rankings and topped the list of what mattered to this girl. Four hours of stupid jokes and Dr. Mario concoctions had meant more to her than sleep, or food, or homework that would one day lead to a successful career in hygienics. None of those things mattered to her that night. We did. And vice versa, a girl that in my eyes no longer had any precedence over my career, over my education, or over any of my life choices had sat in the front seat of the last four hours of my life. I had changed what mattered to me, if only for a few moments on a Sunday night. And I was okay with that.

Walking up to the doorway, I gave her a giant bear hug and held on to something that in a few months from now will be gone. Dissolved. Completely eradicated from either of our existence. Late night hugs in doorways after long nights of Nintendo 64 marathons and comical conversations would no longer be around anymore. We would go our separate ways and begin new chapters in our lives that would only stay linked via Facebook updates and Christmas cards. But the future didn't matter last night as we hugged in the doorway. What mattered was that we were still friends, we were still priorities, we had logged yet another memory with one another that we will both remember in the years to come.

And those memories with friends are what make us L-word this crazy, nutty thing called life.  

What do you think?

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