23 years had gone by. 23 years since I had seen TM. It's hard to believe really. How could I be old enough to have known someone long enough to have not seen them in 23 years? Getting old fucking blows. Anyway, TM was a really good friend who I'd had a falling out with. It doesn't matter why. We were young and stupid and it's in the past. But all those years had gone by and I never forgot him. I still told TM and (his friend) JJ stories. I never stopped laughing at the antics of the crazy punk rock kids that we were. I never really stopped missing him.
We met at a church carnival. Seriously. It was probably the summer of 1985. Everyone went to that carnival for whatever reason. Thinking about it now, I can't really fathom why although I do remember winning an Adam Ant baseball hat and then walking around and filling said hat up with all the disgustingly fried deliciousness that is carnival food. It was there that my BFF and I met TM and JJ. It was the beginning of a wild ride and I'm not talking about the Tilt-o-Whirl. I remember thinking then that they were so much younger than BFF and I. But the reality is, they weren't. They were in fact only 2 years younger than us. We went to the same high school but we didn't know each other from there. In 1985, BFF and I were out for a year and TM and JJ were just about to enter their senior year. We all hit it off immediately and started hanging out together a lot. We went to concerts, movies... many of which we got kicked out of because were such damn nuisances and always causing trouble. We had TV parties and watched rented movies like Repo Man and Rude Boy and Suburbia and watched The Young Ones over and over and over. And damn did we have fun. SO much fun.
JJ was a big goofy oaf who annoyed the shit out of all of us, all the time. Which is not to say he wasn't our friend, he was just an annoying friend. It was different with TM. Like me and BFF, he had a rather strained relationship with his parents, his father in particular and spent most of his time living with this grandparents. It was a bond the three of us had, but I'm not really sure how aware we were of that back then. JJ was more concerned with himself than he was with cultivating a bond of friendship. But with TM I felt all at the same time like a mother, a friend, a big sister, a confidant. We probably rarely spoke of seriously issues, family related or otherwise, but with some people you just have a bond. And I like to think I was there for him when he needed it most and I know whether he knew it or not, he was there for me. So when we parted ways, it hurt. A lot.
In all those years, even though neither of us left the area, we never ran into each other. Not once. I still can't grasp that. We were in the same scene, hung out at the same places and not once did we run into each other. So weird. It took this crazy thing called Facebook to get us back in touch after all those years. I had been trying to find him off and on before we found each other on FB, but it always ended up in a dead end. I worried that he may not want to be back in touch with me even if I did find him. You really just never know. So much time had passed. Would there still be animosity? Would he even remember me? FB to the rescue. Friend requests were sent and accepted and we fell right back into that easy friendship we always had. It was amazing. Our falling out came up briefly and was forgotten. It didn't matter anymore. We have both been through times, good and bad. We've grown and matured (somewhat, kind of).
And then it happened. We made plans to see each other. I was nervous and self conscious, of course, about all the weight I had put on since he had last seen me. I'm a girl, what can I say! We worry about that shit. But most of all I was excited. So excited to see TM after all this time. He arrived at my house and he looked as adorable as he did 23 years ago. And all that time vanished. It was gone. We talked for hours, caught up on each others lives and what we had been doing all those years. And memories... oh yes the memories came flooding back of the crazy times and the crazy things we did. Lots of crazy things. From driving down a winding dark parkway without my headlights on to see if I could do it without crashing (I could), to getting kicked out of movies, concerts, malls, restaurants, you name it! We probably got kicked out of every kind of venue possible. Sometimes there was a valid reason, other times there wasn't. Back in those days, if you looked a little bit different (and we looked a lot bit different) life wasn't too easy for you. We didn't care though. We were who we were and liked it that way. And we're still who we are. That was the amazing thing. We were different but the same.
People come and go in our lives, for good reasons and sometimes not so good reasons. It's just the way things are. There are people you want to remain in your life and you do everything to keep them there. And there are people you lose along the way. Some you forgot, some you want to forget and some you can't forget. TM was one of those I could never forget. One that I thought about from time to time, wondered about, wished things could have been different and hoped to see again. I was about to say that we wasted too much time. But we didn't. It wasn't time wasted. It was just time that went on and now, we're here. Again. I think this is the re-beginning of a beautiful friendship.