It’s strange for other people to see sometimes but me and my best friend are closer than I have ever been with any intimate relationship involving a female. Strictly emotionally speaking. Although there has been a time or two that he has grabbed my face and planted one on me. If I didn’t throw a fist then, I don’t think I ever will. He makes no mistakes in my eyes. I mean sometimes he can be a bit flaky. It’s just who he is, but I love him regardless of that character default that he has.
He has been with me through every single transition in my life ever since we met. The first apartment (Next door to him, of course), first love, first heart-break, first job, first engagement, first car, first college experience, first college drop-out experience, first tricks landed skateboarding, first dislocated shoulder, first all time low. All of it. He has been there laughing with me, and at me, as I trip and stumble through my life. He makes it completely enjoyable, even in when I want to slap the mother fucking face off of this place we call life. He’s been there to keep me sane. If anything we are capable to lose our minds together so neither of us feel alone at any point in time.
I realize this comes off as a love letter. It most certainly is. I love my best friend with everything inside of me. As I write this I realize how lucky I have been to meet him. (Even upon editing I am starting to well up some loving tears again…) Most people who have any idea about me will undoubtedly know about him. Everyone around us knows that we have a strong connection and it doesn’t help that we both have red -hair, red beards, the same distasteful sense of humor, and laugh in sync with each other. We often have our names mended together so no one gets confused. Rusty is our respective name when no one remembers our individual names.
I think when people are around us they see a strange connection between two men. Something highly platonic and entirely accepting of each other as people. Most men I know don’t grant themselves the space to become completely in tune with another dude. What they are missing is the connection that stays static when all else may come crumbling around you. You’re best mate will be there to shake you down, pick you up, and jump right into that pit with you when this life seems useless. I hope everyone I know get’s to experience a love at this level at any point in their lives.
I will always have a shoulder to lean on when things are hard, and he will too. We feel each others emotions as they are happening. Sometimes overwhelmingly so. I mean, it’s really too bad that he is a dude. I would marry the shit out of him. (He called me a few days later saying the same thing. He also added that we would have the best fucking time, all of the time. This is without me mentioning this piece about him)
His wife is an extremely lucky lady. Also a very patient one because our antics and attitudes can be difficult to handle all of the time. Did I mention we come as a duo? She knew that marrying him came with a plus one of me. If she didn’t, surprise! (If you are reading this Abby, you already knew what you signed up for. This is your problem now. Ha!)
Some of the benefits of having an amazing best friend who is a male is that we are able to openly talk about things that confound us as men. I.e.- Having to put on the ‘show’ that we are emotionless barrels of muscle (Update-I literally am skin and bones. Muscle do not exist in this body.) The problem with modern day society in the realms of loving all people openly as a male can be difficult and add conflict to an otherwise tame situation. Men trying to be MEN can be challenging in the way that training an old dog new tricks can be. You can hug a dude and not have the threat of any bodily fluids being transmitted. It’s safe to be overwhelmingly excited to see your friends. It’s fucking human for christ’s sake!
Some nights we will sit down around the t.v. and share our favorite music with each other, talk about our damaged pasts, and sometimes we will both break down and cry with each other by the end of it. It’s a sick tendency that I love. We have no problem going so far into any subject that we feel. We openly feel our age old wounds together and I feel blessed to say that I can do that with someone.
I have no problem admitting that I cry. It’s certainly taboo as a male to bawl in front of another person. Being trained to be strong all of the time is tiring. I have never circumscribed to that concept. Lately I realize there is some valor in keeping your shit together, but that is extremely recent for me. I have always broken down the moment I am overwhelmed with the weight of a feather being dropped on my soul. Not willing to bare the weight of what life hands out to me.
I have these breakdowns that occur out of the blue. A thought enters my head, then a scenario of how terrible things could end, then the panic of reality settling in at the same time, followed by the overwhelming regret that I don’t feel as though I have ever once been a decent human being. It comes crashing down on me and then I crumble in front of someone. Let alone that person being another male counterpart. You have no idea how hard that is to do. Maybe you do. I hope you don’t.
It didn’t happen between us for 10 years. When we broke that barrier, I was going through a difficult transition in my life. I was recently found single, jobless, broke, I had no possessions beside what fit into a couple of bags, and no direction whatsoever as to how I was going to survive it. He was there to let me know that it’s okay to be lost and to be heavy with emotional turbulence. He helped carry me through it and got me back on my feet.
I also am so grateful that we broke that barrier so that we may be emotionally vulnerable and available around each other during the struggles that this existence relentlessly will throw at us. We often don’t have the tools or the strength to smack those waaaayyy back into left field and out of mind. It often finds itself being thrown directly into our strong shoulder, dislocating it, and then tearing the ligaments that may have allowed us to keep a normal sense of well-being together. Having my best friend to carry that weight has saved me from some entirely brash and scary impulsive decisions. I worried that he wouldn’t have me around for him too. It scares me to think that at any point in time during either of out lives, one of us is going to live without the other. Few men get that connection with anyone in their lives that they aren’t sleeping with. It’s a healing and bonding experience that helps validate the human experience and the difficulties it often involves. To be able to free ourselves from the past with each other has helped me grow as a person immensely during the darkest times of my life.