I heard the door close on three good friendships this week.
As I listened to their footsteps stagger down the street, I paused to reflect as to why. Friendships, it seems to me, tend to gently drift apart over the course of time. Unless, of course, the friendship ends because of some injustice perceived between the friends in question. Then it tends to end with a bang. But more often than not, the friendship ends quietly. They fade away under the guises of a shortage of time, or perhaps one friend moves away to a distant city, or simply each has found other interests that draws the friendship apart.
Of my three friendships, one has been phasing out over the course of several months, lack of time, lack of shared interests. One has fallen victim to the moving to a distant city syndrome. Of course there is always good intentions of staying in touch, but we know time and proximity will see the friendship fade. And the other friendship has probably ended over a misunderstanding and lack of communication and my stupid pride won’t allow me to take steps to bridge the gap that has opened up beneath us. And soon we will go into free fall and that will be end of it.
I guess I will always be friends with these people, but the intimacy of our friendship will probably never be the same.
Anyway these turn of events inspired me to write this poem.
I am old enough to know
friends come and go
I thought our friendship would last
but like the others, you slipped into my past
No time for goodbyes, I guess
friendship is something you can’t possess
it storms into your life like a monsoon
then drifts away like a cold cup of coffee in the afternoon
Perhaps it’s the beginning, not the end
the intimacy is gone, but you’re still my friend
we’ll have our memories to share
like abandoned cars left on a highway in disrepair
I watch the sky turn an imperial red
and I wonder what lies ahead
on this twisted road for you and I
as the evening spreads out across the sky
(Dedicated to all the friends and lovers who have come and gone in my life. I want to say good luck and good bye and may our paths meet again some day. If you’re out there on the road somewhere and you come across this poem, think of me and the times we shared. If the spirit moves you drop me a line some time.)