I can get from my house to yours with my eyes closed.
Cut through the park, then pass that guy’s house — you remember him, from 10th-grade math. Every time he said something in class, we’d share a look. We did that often. Half the time, I didn’t even know what the looks meant; I felt like you were thinking one thing and I was thinking another. Yet, there was something about those moments that we wanted to share with each other. I’ve never felt less alone than I did sitting next to you in 10th-grade math.
Then I hit that one planter box where we’d sit when neither of us wanted to go home. We had some of our most cathartic conversations on it. It was our place of comfort until we discovered that a family of mice was living in it. I’ll never forget your face when we saw them for the first time: a mixture of fear, disgust, and just a hint of adoration because, oddly enough, they were a cute family, and I know how much you love yours.
Next, I go a bit downhill. The decline is reminiscent of our friendship once we moved to college. If I’m being honest, I wasn’t sure if we would make it; it felt like we were growing too fast in opposite directions and there was no intersection in sight. I never told you this, but I spent many nights staring at my ceiling wondering if childhood best friends really are only childhood best friends. On some nights, I could find peace with it: I was thankful for our memories, from 10th-grade math and families of mice to surprise birthday parties and holding your hand while you cried. We lived a lifetime of friendship in those first 12 years, and on some nights I was happy with that. But most nights, I couldn’t catch my breath thinking that, one day, you might not be just one text away. That one day, it might be 10 years since we’ve spoken, and I would have so much to say to you, and no way to say it.
Luckily, though, next comes a plateau. The ground is flat up till your house now, and it reminds me that we found solid ground after our tough times. We found an intersection. We found that the fact that we are growing does not have to mean that we are growing apart. In fact, I think our newfound differences make me love you even more. I appreciate your unique perspective, shaped by your own experiences. I appreciate that we’ve both met so many new people, but we still put each other first.
We found that the fact that we are growing does not have to mean that we are growing apart.
The walk from my house to yours looks quite different now. It is a left on College and a short stroll down Dwight. We don’t see each other as much as I thought we would, but I don’t feel any less close to you. I know that all the moments we miss together will be recapped at our once-a-month dinners at Berkeley Thai House, where we order two drinks each and no actual food. It’s funny, but sometimes at those dinners it feels like one second we’re in Berkeley, living our young adult lives, and the next it feels like we’re back in high school, sitting next to each other in 10th-grade math. While that may be a nightmare for some people, I love it, because I could not feel less alone than I do with you.
I know that one day the walk from my house to yours will no longer be a walk. It will be a flight, and then perhaps a train ride, and then an Uber ride. You’ve said that you want to move to the East Coast since we were in elementary school. If there’s one thing I know about you, it’s that if you want something, you’re going to get it. I’m excited for you to live your dreams. I’m excited to memorize this new route to get to you, the way I’ve memorized them all in the past. But most of all, I’m excited to keep making the journey from my house to yours.