Dearly beloved, we gather here today to mourn the loss of giving a shit.
It died because of a lot of things. Old age, new habits, a lifestyle change. I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that I too have lost my ability to give a shit on occasion. Usually it’s because of perceived judgment, or religious complications, or just enough being enough.
There comes a point in time where you look around you, and you wonder where someone is. Why they didn’t reply to your messages, or why you hadn’t seen them in a while. Be honest; you hadn’t really thought about it until now, but it’s been weeks since they even crossed your mind. This isn’t about a love interest or a casual fling. It’s a person who used to be in your life that suddenly, you violently realize, isn’t there anymore. And they probably won’t be, at least in the same way, ever again.
It’s the part in Toy Story II when Jessie the Cowgirl looks out her window in a sepia-toned haze and sings,
So the years went by, I stayed the same
And she began to drift away, I was left alone
Still I waited for the day, when she’d say “I will always love you.”
But we don’t stay the same. Like a stupid friendship bracelet, the ‘forever’ implies that when you change, you move past all the problems and all the difficulty and stay there for each other. Not the friendships that you had briefly in high school, with mutual friends and teammates and friend’s older siblings. Not the girl you talked to every day in Psychology, and not your neighbor you walked to the bus stop with every day for years. Not the people you ate lunch with, or sat through assemblies with, or lost respect for over religious beliefs.
It’s the one you made late-night runs to Taco Bell with. The one who understands the necessity of 30-minute-long trips to Family Video and subsequent 7-hour movie marathons. The one who will plan on spending their entire weekend with you, no matter who else will be in attendance. The one who won’t ask you to hang out, but drive to your house and notify you of their presence in your driveway. The one who sat in your car with you, the only person to ensure you weren’t alone when the clock struck midnight on your birthday. The one who told you their biggest secret first. The one you’d make phone calls for, pretending to be their mother to excuse them from class.
And as you grew older, the friends around you changed. But you still had your first drunken experience together. You still cried together at the emotional part in that movie. You still got each other birthday gifts and posted on each other’s social media whatevers from time to time.
But it gets to the point when, eventually, all those little strings that were connecting you get longer and longer until they snap. You can’t explain why things go unanswered or why for fuck’s sake they can’t follow you back on twitter. Or why they agree to go to the movies with you to see a double feature, but bail after the first one. Why they eventually make excuses for their absences at group gatherings, and then start hanging out with other people entirely.
Why it seems like you (and your friendship) are things that the person no longer gives a shit about. It’s hard to accept that our parents, our relatives, our friends, books, and the movies have all taught us that some friendships fall apart. It’s hard to believe that it could happen to us.
But just like the day your ex woke up and realized they didn’t want to be with you anymore, it is possible for your best friend to have the same feeling. That they don’t want to have that attachment to you anymore. The worst part is always the slip-ups, but you’ll get past it.
“I like your shirt!”
“Thanks, I got it from my best–I got it from a friend,” you’ll stammer. That’s when it hits you. Only the crazy ex-girlfriend still calls her ex her boyfriend. And I’d be doing the same if I referred to you as my best friend.
I’ll just have to call you Fish.