domingo, 15 de outubro de 2006

Friends or lovers?

Recently, as I was reading through the blog of a fellow contributor to a collective blog, I came across a post that caught my attention.
After reading the first two lines, the first words that strangely came immediately to my mind were: "Strumming my pain with his fingers / Singing my life with his words"…
And R. went on describing his relationship with T.: how T. was, his personality, his way of dealing with everyone, his group of friends, his constant awareness of others, his fabulous generosity…
I just couldn't believe. That was definitely my story too. With all due changes here are some parts of what I read.

«37 years ago today, my best friend T. was born.
15 years ago this past January, he died. […]
T. and I were friends… best friends. We cared for each other the same way that people in relationships treat their mates... but we weren't in a relationship… or at least, we didn't think we were. […]
He was the star quarterback of his high school, but he had arthritis of the ankles, so he was often on crutches in college. He was in amazing shape, but he was also hemophiliac… He was the most loving and amazing guy, but his father left his mother before he was even born. He was a man of contradictions, but he was the easiest person to get along with.
Everyone wanted to be his friend… and I mean everyone. Whenever someone had a party, T. was the first one anyone called. When someone wanted to go out to a bar, T. was the immediately invited. When someone needed help, they instantly went to T.. And luckily, when anyone had anything to do with T., I was always right there… by his side. […]
I often find myself wondering what would have happened if T. had lived. Would I still be living in B.? Would he and I have taken that step to be "more than friends"? […]»

And this is approximately what I posted on this very blog only a couple of months ago:

«I've met my soul mate when I was about seven years old.
We soon became best friends first and – odd enough – we turned into brothers when we were young teenagers and found out we were both gay.
Our friendship would have lasted all our lives long, hadn't he been taken away by aids in 1993.
I shall never get over such a tremendous loss. Ever.
He was my daily spiritual, intellectual best companion.I still miss him every single day of my life.
I won't ever forget you, ZL. You will live forever in my heart.»

Is it friendship what there was between us for all those years, or is it some kind of love I never got to realise?
I believe he certainly knew what I felt for him. We've never needed words to know what the other was thinking or what step the other would take next. Looking in each other's eyes was quite enough. In some situations and under certain circumstances, we would even avoid that "procedure" in order to let things happen as normally as possible. When we were teenagers, I remember quite well his mother saying (without realising the reach of her words): "You two seem like a couple: the one's always covering up for the other!"
Is love more valuable than a lifetime friendship?
Do people really become "more than friends" when they "fall in love", when they "enamour of each other"?
Does sex play a part in dividing up the waters?
What kind of part is that?
What if it doesn't?

Oh ZL, I miss you more than ever…

16 comentários:

Bruce disse...

Ric,

I firmly believe that friendship, even a very close friendship, is substantially different from a love relationship involving sexual intimacy. There are simply aspects of your being that you show to your partner through sexual intimacy that even the best friend doesn't get to see or understand. The loss of control, the emotional nudity, if you will, that you show to your parner at the moment of orgasm, the amount of trust and intimacy you give him so that he can bring you to that point, your pleasure in giving him pleasure, are moments that are exclusive to sex between two people who love each other.

My partner knows aspects of my being through sex that no friend could ever know. Even if I explain these aspects of myself to my friend, he knows them in a very different way than my partner does. My partner, through sex, directly experiences them, while my friend simply knows about them.

This is, of course, not to minimalize or trivalize the beauty and emotional significance of a deep and strong friendship. A sexual partner can, of course, also be a friend in this sense; in the strongest relationships, he undoubtedly is. But the absence of sex in a friendship sends the relationship off in a different direction.

Ric, you referred to a friendship that was actually a romantic love relationship in the making, which was never consummated. These situations, which many of us have had (perhaps more frequently than straights since oppression has frequently prevented us from realizing beautiful relationships) are incredibly sad. They stay with us, and haunt us, for the rest of our lives. The only way of exorcizing the deamons is to attain that lost intimacy with someone else. One never forgets the lost opportunity, but the ache is easier to bear.

RIC disse...

Thank you so very much, Bruce, for your kind help!
As you know, these are matters you just don't easily speak about with no matter who. With another friend, perhaps, with a therapist, if you're seeing one and trust him enough...
For the time being I want to reflect on your words. Sooner or later I'll be coming back to this subject. It is indeed the touchstone of my life. There's no use in avoiding the truth.
I wish you all the best!

Joel disse...

Hi Ric!?

This is something that I've never lived. I wish I had friends even half as close as what you guys had.

As for sex, I think it always changes things.

You know that living like this, thinking and missing and not allowing yourself to live and move forward is not good for you.

Are you doing anything about it.

RIC disse...

Thank you, Joel, for your concern! Yes, it is marvellous indeed to have such friends until...
Right now I don't even know whether I want to move forward. I'm living a day at a time. It's definitely better than it was just a few months ago, so let's just keep it that way for the time being.
I wish you a pleasant Sunday! :-)

Fourhorsemen disse...

Will go email for this one.

RIC disse...

I'll be waiting, Will! (With some expectation...)

Fourhorsemen disse...

Have sent two pages. As you may sense...it is a project without end: The email that could go on until the day after eternity...

Must now mow the lawn, pull up the tomatos, put out the garbage, get more pulls for the new kitchen cabinets, fold a weeks worth of laundry, make my bed, wash upstairs bedroom sheets (where I nap if I can steal away a few house on a weekend day), maybe go to gym if I am not shot after all this, think about dinner, feed my dear two girls, and try to do another page or two in the production number that my email is turned out to be.

Thinking of you on a foggy misty fall day.

Joshua disse...

It's funny you mentioned that song. I've been playing it a lot lately. I'm really sorry over your friend. )

RIC disse...

I guess you just described it quite well, Will: housework is never done, which some times can actually be quite boring, I'd say... I'm not that much myself into some home tasks, but... things have really to be done, so...
As to the weather, around here it's not so romantic: it has been raining deluginly, so much so that it managed to wake me up (which seldom happens).
Have a nice week, Will!

RIC disse...

That is a song that I love most especially...
Thank you so very much, Joshua.

4-Horses disse...

good morning to you and to me a good night

RIC disse...

Thank you so very much for the long, long e-mail!... I've now plenty to think about for a while!
Wish you a good night!

Gray disse...

On June 30th, I posted about "Dino... My Dear Friend" who also died of AIDS. We were not lovers and we did not know each other from childhood. But I still grieve for him and still love him.

Perhaps that is why I related so very much to what you have written here. I am so deeply sorry for you and for your blogger friend whom you quoted.

I once was told, "They die. You cry. And then you go on." In our daily living, I find that statement so untrue! Yes, we "go on." But we also remember and we cry. We wish and we cry again. Sometimes the pain never goes away.

I have never known the loss of a lover and I do not [the only word I can think of at the moment] *envy* those who have! But my heart can empathize and grieve with you and others who have had to live through such a horrible tragedy.

RIC disse...

Thank you so very much, Gray.
Of course we go on! There's no other way, because your own lige goes on, and some times you just go along with it...
The big pain eventually fades away, and you stick to your good memories. But I agree with you: there's always some pain over. And on especial days you just get caught... Like I was yesterday.
... Oh well! Life goes on. What else shall I do?
Wish you the best! :-)

Fourhorsemen disse...

will also try to finish the original email so that i can get to what thsi has dredged up with me. quite a lot, i am afraid.

RIC disse...

Okay, Will, just take your time.
:-)