I have a Best Friend, and a Best Friend, 2.0. Neither of these two is my husband, who found me 20 years ago, married me two years after that and still seems to like me, despite the past few years of my peri-menopause hell. He is my partner in this life. My person who walks beside me through the ugly and the beautiful, the fire and the ice. He is the hardest one to write about because words always seem to fail. There are no words strong enough or complete enough to define us, or at least I haven’t found them just yet. But this isn’t about us…or him. This is about friendship, which is different, for so many, many reasons. This is about the miracle of coincidence and luck that conspired to allow me to make a Best Friend. Actually… two.
BF #1: We were both seeking refuge in the strange semi-freedom of the Barnes & Noble Thomas the Tank Engine train table area. Of course, we had limited talking time due to the toddlers who were running our lives. Fast forward a few weeks and we found ourselves together again, this time on either side of a toddler slide at my synagogue. You followed me out to the parking lot (thank god!) to exchange numbers. (You were only slightly appalled that I didn’t have a cell phone.) You were on a spiritual quest and you found me.
BF 2.0: We inhabited the same space for a few years, and, whenever we did interact over a shared student, we found, time and again, common ground and a strangely synced shared vision. A few years passed and our paths criss-crossed as they are apt to do in a middle school, me in my space and you in yours. Our orbits became more coordinated, sometimes by design, but often by fluke. Now I’m quite certain that your gravitational force is perhaps the only thing that keeps me on track.
BF #1: You know me better than I know me. I tell you things and as I watch the words fall through the air, I realize that you already knew whatever it was I was in the process of saying. You see me completely, warts and all. And you still like me.
BF 2.0: Somehow, despite our obvious differences, we have the same observations/thoughts/reactions to most things in this life, especially when it comes to (literally) anything pertaining to our school life. It has only been in recent years that we have been able to acknowledge this with a simple look and a barely noticeable smile.
BF #1: All we need is your couch, some tea and extended, uninterrupted time.
BF 2.0: All we need is a fire, good music and extended, uninterrupted time.