Friday, September 21, 2012

The Curious Nature of Friendship

Not sure if people notice or not, but I have not been writing about Tova for quite some time.  The reason for this is simple - right after my wedding we got into a HUGE fight - I said some things, she said some things - and it escalated from there.  It doesn't matter what the fight was about - let's just say we both had valid points to make.  A massive blowout was followed by a USA-Russia type cold war.  Followed, finally, but some very cold texts and stilted phone conversations, aka "progress".  (Under normal circumstances, our massive blowouts were usually followed by some crying, apologies and hugging within minutes or at most, hours, later.).  But whatever you want to call it, there has been a very real and not so subtle shift in our relationship.

Now a year ago, this would have been a Disaster of Epic Proportions!!!. The Titanic going down with me in the engine room.  Standing on Vesuvius as it erupted.  Tanning on those white sandy beaches of Atlantis seconds before the big earthquake-type proportions.

But a funny thing happened since then.  It seems we are both thriving away from each other.  I'm enjoying married life with David, expanding my social circle exponentially (each time one of Dave's friends finds a significant other, friends of friends, when we are introduced to a nice new couple, etc) and for the first time... actually enjoying life. 

And Tova? Did she fall to pieces without my constant love and support?  NO!  She's back in school, she's still seeing her BF and she's made...get friends!  She's going out.  She's having fun.  She's living.  Bitch.

Which made me do a lot of thinking about the nature of friendship.  Was ours poisonous?  Did we hold each other back?  Were we somehow toxic?  Did our us against the world mentality actually retard our ability to grow?

Short answer?  FUCK NO. 

Longer answer:

At the end of The Dark Knight [SPOILER ALERT] a deflated Commissioner Gorden tells his son that Batman has become a "criminal" because that's what's best for the City of Gotham - "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. " (emphasis mine) 

Gotham needed Batman to be "bad" because it needed Harvey Dent to be good, even though he really wasn't. (Confused?  Watch this amazing and disturbing movie about 4 times and it will all make sense.  Assuming you can stomach four times through Heath Ledger's powerfully disturbing performance as the Joker.  Truly painful to watch.  Yes, I used "disturbing" twice because it really was, well, disturbing.)


And in the end, that sums up Tova and I.  For many years, we were both the friends we needed and the friends we deserved.  No one else could have understood our pain, our hardships, our suffering.  Each of us was going through a unique type of hell on earth - her bouts with cancer and my bouts with.... well everything. We had each other and that was enough.  As Cletus Purcell so often tells Dave Robocheaux - "no one fucks with the Bobsey Twins from homicide".  Tova and I took on the world.  We had each other and didn't need anything, or anyone, else.  We were the Bobsey Twins from homicide.  Period, end of story.

But stories change. Times change.  Circumstances change.  I found David and solace for my pain in a new life.  Not just solace, but an environment less toxic, nay nontoxic, within which I can thrive - where all of my dreams (assuming I had dreams as a child) could come true.  And perhaps because of this my safe house, my Tova, has become something that perhaps I still deserve, but no longer necessarily need.

As life (though not necessarily my ego) would have it, Tova seems to have been in a similar boat as well.  Without her crutch (and perhaps fueled to some degree by a desire to stick it to me?), she's blossomed .  She's happy.  She's seeing someone.  She's got an expanded social circle of her own.  Bitch.

Friendship, true friendship, is forever.  I still believe that.  Like family though, sometimes that's not always the greatest, or most perfect, thing.  But still forever. 

Yet, things change over the course of forever.  Batman understood this, Commissioner Gordon did too.  Now, perhaps, so do I.  If you would have told me a year ago that Tova and I, the Bobsey Twins from homicide would ever be anything other than best friends forever, I would have saved a place for you in the loony bin.  And now here we stand a year, a marriage and a whole life later, in a whole new place.

Will Tova always have a place with me.  Yes.  Will I ever forget her?  No.  But that energy, that raw, terrible energy that was the nature of our close bond, is now gone - gone in a rush of a new reality for both of us which has dissipated much of that once vital life force. 

Gone yes, but never forgotten.  Because Tova will always be the hero I deserve if not necessarily the one I need.


  1. beautiful and moving and powerfully true about friendships. nice link to "the dark knight."

  2. Why won't you talk to me
    You never talk to me
    What are you thinking
    Where do we go from here

    It doesn't have to be like this
    All we need to do is make sure we keep talking

    1. I had a super intense friendship kind of like this. It lasted for a number of years after she married, even after she had her first couple of kids. At times I felt it to be smothering, she was TOO needy (in the way that teenagers are but was simply too much coming from a person who had a husband to be her best friend as well as being a decade past her adolescence) and of course (it was inevitable)at a certain point it blew up.

      That was a few years ago, we are now tentatively feeling our way back into a friendship. We won't ever be close in the way we were, but it's a much more healthy relationship. I do miss that feeling of closeness sometimes but I know it's better this way.

  3. Perfect.

    And the Dark Knight reference was wonderful.

    So don't be a fool like me and watch College Humor's hysterical takes on The Bat and have that scene ruined forever.

    Dooooon't! No, really! Don't watch this: