“This is an amendment to the earlier rule”

19 Sep

I woke up yesterday morning wrapped in the arms of one of my closest friends.  I tried to will away my martini-induced hangover as sun flooded my bedroom windows telling us it was time to wake up and face the music.  He was supposed to be sleeping on the couch.  Or, in the very least we should be laying head to toe like when we were younger.  But instead I had this man next to me, someone I have been friends with for almost 20 years – unplanned, unintentional and, up until last night, unthinkable.

I wish we could blame the martinis but we can’t.  Not entirely anyway.  We had spent 10 hours the night before catching up on family news; reliving stories from our childhood and college years; revisiting the men I had dated and talking about the bat-sh*t crazy girls he had spent years bringing home.  And then conversation brought us to the topic which was unavoidable; he said, “Can I ask what happened?”  As I ended my story, or at least tried to explain circumstances that I still don’t entirely understand myself, I asked, “What about yours?”  Who would have ever guessed that the two of us, friends since the age of 12, would be sitting at a restaurant in New York almost 20 years later, swapping “war” stories from our individually ill-fated engagements?

I wouldn’t let myself consciously admit it in that moment, but I loved spending time with someone who knows me so incredibly well yet wasn’t there to witness the mess I couldn’t help but become last summer.  And while I would never wish what I have gone through on anyone, there was something unfortunately comforting in spending time with someone who knows exactly how it feels.

I wish I could say I felt guilty, or that I knew I was taking a risk as we watched ourselves crawl into each others’ arms but even through the martini-induced haze, we knew exactly what we were doing.  In that moment we had to believe that our friendship was strong enough to allow us to abandon the loneliness and heartbreak that often consume the night, and to enjoy it for what it was.  The opportunity to feel something meaningful.

In that interest, yesterday morning we took a stand against the flooding sun and ticking clock; we didn’t force ourselves out of bed until we absolutely had to.  There was just something so utterly calming in hearing the breath and feeling the warmth of someone I love next to me, even if that love will never be anything more than friendship.  With a meaningful smile and his last kiss on my shoulder, the moment was – as we both intended – over.

Last night things were back to normal as we simultaneously complained that the other was taking up too much room and practically pushed each other off the bed.  I barely remember setting my head on the pillow but I do remember doing something completely out of character, something that I would only do for one of my closest friends.  I let him have the TV remote.  And then instantly fell asleep.


One Response to ““This is an amendment to the earlier rule””


  1. All systems go « Unwedded Bliss - June 8, 2012

    […] playing house.  Although the moment last fall was – “as we had both intended it” – over, I obviously gave some thought as to whether or not we would fall into a comfort from the […]

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