To tell the truth, I kind of wanted to be him.
I don't know if I would have said that at the time, but looking back, I think there is some truth to it.
We were in high school and he was deep, brooding and popular with the girls. He wrote about things that I literally had no experience with, as in "being deep, brooding and what happens when you are popular with the girls".
He introduced me to a lot of bands, and authors, that I still love to this day.
I introduced him to other stuff.
I have no idea why we started talking, other than being in class together, but we did and found shared interests in a sea of people we didn't *want* to share interests with.
The friendship kept up over the years. This was before either of us were on the internet, but we talked a couple times a week on the phone. As isolated as I was after school, that was a big deal.
He was one of those guys that you warned your female friends to *never* date, and most of them never listened to you, and told you through their tears afterward, that you had been right.
So I guess I knew that I shouldn't trust him. Call be being naive, or male privilege, or just being a dumb kid, I didn't really think that it would ever be applied to me.
Until I got married. He was my first choice for best man. I told him before I told anyone else, and asked him, almost two years before the actual wedding. He knew the date before anyone else as well, to make sure everything was OK.
A couple weeks before the wedding, he lets me know that he hasn't been fitted for his suit yet, he isn't going to be able to make the rehearsal dinner, and oh yeah, when is the wedding again, because he still needs to see if he can get off for it. Needless to say, I replaced him as best man - he didn't even end up coming to the wedding... and the friendship dried up soon after that.
I didn't see him in person until years later. He was at a show. We ran into each other, and exchanged a few words. His first words to me, "Man, you've gotten fat!"
We didn't talk much at the show.
A few years after *that*, he was working the door at another show. We talked for a few minutes and he indicated that we should hang out afterward. I said "sure" and then ignored him the rest of the night.
That was the last I saw of him... until I was dropped off for a show last night, and there he was, working the door again. It was slow, so he immediately engaged me in conversation. He has a wife and a new baby girl, but hasn't wrote a single thing since just after we lost touch. He didn't address any of the above, but he did mention what an idiot he had been over the years, to a lot of people. The cockiness that used to draw people to him, there was still a bit of it, but it was tempered by age and actual experience.
He seemed calmer, better, as if being a Dad had helped finally give him some direction. He also seemed sad to have lost his writing, the one thing he had always prized, and had been sure was going to be his mark on the world.
He asked for my number, and I gave it to him. Will we actually end up talking? I don't know.
But it got me thinking about Idol, and how many people have passed through here - the relationships that have been formed. Some people have made positive impressions, some negative, and some have started out one way and ended up another. Because these are people living their lives. It's not like cardboard cutouts just standing in one place. The person you meet one season isn't going to be exactly the same one you encounter the next. Or, if they are, they are doing something wrong with this "Life" thing. ;)
Maybe it doesn't alter the core of "who they are". But maybe the progress of time can impact how they process things, and how they choose to relate to others. Maybe that's something to keep in mind as you meet and interact with new people. Or maybe not. Maybe people are who they are, and all that's different is your perceptions of them. I guess we'll have to see.
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