Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday's Lost Little but Friends

Truthfully, my life has been one free of any hardships or loves. The closest person to me who has ever died was my granddad, a right old codger who I never liked and was too young to appreciate. Most of my friends just grew apart from me naturally, through distance and through time. Even Harry Potter doesn't affect me too heavily. It's been a huge part of my life for very long, but I have greater concerns than I once did and it just doesn't hold that same spot in my heart. It's nowhere near my favourite book series - probably not even in the Top 50 - and though I have that heart of nostalgia, it just doesn't resonate as strongly as it may have before.

The only thing that ever meant anything to me that I am truly saddened to see end was a friendship, with a girl named Kristen. Kris, I usually called her. We were very close. We met in seventh grade, around January in our math class, and we were close. Loved Harry Potter, loved Yu-Gi-Oh!, loved a lot of the same bands, same anime, same movies (we both loved us some Freddy and Jason). We had a lot in common, and until the tenth grade, we were right inseparable. She got mono that year, the old "kissing" disease (though I doubt highly she got it from kissing; not the type), and after that, things fell down hill. I still went to her house often, we watched telly and talked on the phone about our favourite books. But over the year, at school, I grew closer to Carina, who at the time was more of a casual friend. We were basically best friends by the end of the year, hanging out after school once a week, at the library once a week, and often at one another's homes for a sleepover or just for five or six hours to do nothing. Kris came back to school, for a time, but things had changed.

She was a hypochondriac, and paranoid to the highest degree. She looked down on education and considered their inability to compensate for her constant absence to be the school's fault, and she dropped out. She began studying her own thing, taking the Regents (state tests in NY) at other schools, she got her GED. Over those years, I became closer and closer with Carina, and the group we formed with Eric and Gayle. But through it all, I still considered Kris to be my closest friend. We had a bond, and it was hard to pull apart. Even when she became more and more paranoid, when she refused to talk to any of her friends but me, when she removed all traces of herself from the internet - the only form in which she ever socialized any more. She grew to have a rather unhealthy obsession with Joseph Stalin, of all things, and she locked her interests in place, refusing to ever watch a new show or read a new book if it weren't part of the worlds she knew. We only saw each other every few months, we only talked a couple times a month, but hell, I still remember her phone number.

I moved to Vancouver - opposite coast, quite the distance. I fell out of touch with many of my friends, and these days the only ones I speak to regularly are Carina and our mutual friend, Nick. Kristen, though, she couldn't handle it. I was her link, her connection to the world outside her overcramped apartment (they were hoarders, too, just to add to the list) with her out-of-work mother. They moved to Washington, not wanting to cross the border but willing to move to be close.

We've seen each other once since then. I used to call her often. I told her about my classes - she decided not to go to college, so she could write her books (I hope she still writes; she never had great stories, but she was a fantastic writer in terms of prose alone). I went to their house for Columbus Day (up here, that's Thanksgiving - I don't know why it is different in Canada). Their apartment was smaller, and they slept on fold out couches meant for children - they were both small, her mother was under 5' - and still neither worked, but they spent money like it grew on trees. I had a fair amount of money at the time, my parents were still paying for me and we never wanted for anything, but even I was more conservative than she. We went to an EB Games and a Borders (R.I.P.), and I spent about $70. Got the first volume of a manga I love, a DS game, and an anthology of one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. She spent $200 on the first day, and about $150 the second. On games I knew she never played, on manga that I knew it took her weeks to read. And they did this often. All of the clerks knew them by name. And their apartment was a mess. The books were all neatly organized - she wouldn't have it any other way - but they were in piles as high as the ceiling, the bookcases long since filled sideways, long ways, even diagonally if nothing else worked. I remember she even had a doll house - an old, plastic Fisher Price one that I remembered having as a kid. A little girl in my fiance's family has that same doll house, too.

The last time I spoke to Kris was on her 19th birthday. I called, I told her I was moving into an apartment with a friend, and I wished her well. I've tried to call her since, but the phone has been disconnected. I've tried to find her, I've even considered calling her grandmother (who always liked me, and always worried about the pair of them, as I did), and I just about did the day I got engaged. I wish I could speak with her again, tell her about my life, see if she has changed. A part of me worries about her, if her finances held up, if she's gone to school... but I may never know.

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