Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Phoenix, Az. We meet again...

I've only been to Phoenix once before and that was Fall of 2000, my senior year in high school. I had flown out here to see my best guy friend, Patrick, preform in his school's production of "West Side Story." And I remember that the flight was very rocky and after coming back from the bathroom while the plane was hit with turbulence, the guy sitting next to me said, "Dude, it would suck to die on the can." Those were his only words the whole flight.

So, now I'm having lunch in Sky Harbor and thinking about my last visit to this place. It's been over 10 years since I was here (if you can count being in the airport as "here"), but it doesn't feel like at all. Of course, that's generally how I feel about most things from high school - I can't believe that was over 10 years ago! What I remember about the airport on that trip was that because Patrick was in rehearsals, he sent is friend, whom I had never met, to pick me up. She held a sign that just read "3," a nickname that Patrick had bestowed upon me.

It wasn't a bad trip, but it was strange in hindsight. He had shows all weekend, so I spent part of my trip hanging around his place, having dinner with his mom and, either she suggested we get manicures, or we actually did. I can't really remember. And then I came home.

It occurs to me now that this trip was the second to last time I ever saw Patrick. Later that year, he then flew out to CA and went to my Senior Formal with me. After that a few more phone calls and then... nothing. No, he's not dead. He's been disappeared for years, to quote my favorite band.

I had known Patrick since grammar school - he transferred in at 4th grade, I think? Maybe 5th? Anyway, we were friends throughout junior high and then we became closer in high school. Even though he lived in Arizona, he would come back during the summers. We had a lot of fun together and looking back, in a lot of ways it was like a boyfriend/girlfriend dynamic, you know, minus any romance. He was my first platonic-boyfriend, I guess.

And that's hard for me to admit, just like it was hard for me to admit that I did have feelings for him. I thought it would ruin everything! I remember thinking to myself, "you can either tell him how you feel, or you can be friends." At 17 I was sure it couldn't be both ways. So, I decided to not like him anymore and only years later can I be honest about how I felt. And I've realized this in part because I still, to this day, use my memory of him as a guide in which I measure other guys...

It's funny. I never told him how I felt to save the friendship. Now, we don't even have that. I don't know what happened, but I hope he's well - based on his Facebook's minimal activity, I can at least tell he's alive. I wonder if he hopes the same for me, or even thinks of me...

Note: Every story has two sides and this is my side. Maybe to him things were very different, I don't know. I just know that this is how I felt at the time and still feel now.

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