An ode to friendship this NYE

 

There is not a line up of sparkling dresses begging to be worn. There are no elaborate parties in the works. There is no crowd gathering to watch the ball drop, or fireworks over the Thames. New Year’s eve is different for us all this year. But for me it is different because I am not with you.

 

You wanted to start the new year in truth, even if at the time it was only a truth shared between the two of us.

 

Sophomore year of high school started this tradition and created a secret world between us. You pulled me into the bathroom to relieve a secret that no one else knew. In a champagne filled haze you confided in me that you were questioning your sexuality, and on a journey to figure out who you were. In this moment, no one else knew you were gay but the two of us in that half bath, while there was a world of people and competing ideas on the other side of the door. This moment was monuments. You wanted to start the new year in truth, even if at the time it was only a truth shared between the two of us.

 

While you had always been my close friend, you quickly became the person I trusted above everyone else. Your vulnerability and trust in our relationship triggered mine. Our attachment to each other was undeniable. All guards were down, you my confidant, and I yours. Our time together was full of laughs, full of car rides, full of salacious stories. But it was also full of tears, full of analyzing, full of exploration. My person. The person I call to relay any story, share any music, and dissect all aspirations. Through the year physical space has grown between us but never emotional. Weeks could go by but with you it feels like only minutes. And no matter where we might be, no matter the other men are in the picture, we always make it a point to begin our year together. For the last 7 years, NYE is our holiday.

 

You have taught me that New Year’s Eve marks more than a strike on the clock. It is a time to believe in yourself, in the possibilities of our futures. 

 

This year, we are separated not by distance but by rules and regulations put in place for our own safety. I knew that I would not go out, that there was no elaborate outfit in the works, but even with my lack of party hopping schedule it did not occur to me that I would be without you. New Years is our holiday, because starting the year off with you means starting the year on the right foot. Beginning the first steps into a new chapter full of love, full of strength, full of confidence. But in our current world, this is an impossible ask.

 

This past year was full of “distancing”. Full of barriers. Full of complication. But one thing remained untouched. Friendship. Calls, texts, tags in memes filled my phone screen. Contact was kept between friends across the world. Love was sent merely through the abstraction of an emoji rather than a hug. While we were never together, we were never apart.

 

Love was sent merely through the abstraction of an emoji rather than a hug. While we were never together, we were never apart.

 

So no, I will not be with you this New Year’s Eve, but maybe I also will. You have taught me that New Year’s Eve marks more than a strike on the clock. It is a time to believe in yourself, in the possibilities of our futures. It is a time to share love, to be loved. It is a time to appreciate where we have been and the growth we have gained from the past. It is a time to hope for a better tomorrow. This is unchanged. The celebration of our friendship holiday will soon again resume, but the celebration of us of possibility, of love and of hope remains unbroken. And always will.

 

Happy New Year’s Eve.

 

blog post by Claire Kelly

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