Independence Day

When Spliff and I moved into the apartment with Jennajagiraffe almost five years ago, I didn't really know her. I mean, I had "known" her for seven years, but she'd always lived in another town a couple hours away and I really didn't have any idea what it would be like to live with her. Lucky for us, it worked out really well. We got along instantly. We liked a lot of the same things, we spoke the same way, we hated a lot of the same things...and it worked that way for years. When she moved back to her hometown, I felt abandoned. Even though she visited every weekend, I felt alone. I moved in with Casper and felt like maybe I could recreate the same sort of chemistry that Spliff and I had. It didn't work.

Don't get me wrong, Casper is great. She is smart and naive at the same time. Naive in a way that is sometimes fun (most of the time) and sometimes so completely unbelievable that it makes me wonder. A lot. But she taught me about how she grew up and I tried to teach her about what I knew...which is a little about a lot of different stuff. But it wasn't the same. Soon after we moved in, Casper got so enveloped in a relationship that I felt like I lived alone. So it only made sense that my next move would be to actually live alone.

I loved living alone. Sure, it got lonely sometimes, but it was totally worth it. It was quiet when I wanted it to be quiet and it wasn't when I thought it shouldn't be. Sometimes people were scattered all over the floor but most of the time it was just me and Ernge. And I couldn't have been happier.

When Spliff decided to move back, I was ecstatic. It was like that part of me would come back and I would be a whole person again. The thing was, I was different. I was better at being alone. I wasn't coming out of a live-in relationship this time and I wasn't trying to escape my parents' house. I was just trying to get "that thing" back.

For a while, I thought maybe it would work the same way it did the first time; I thought it would take a minute for us to get back into the groove. I accepted that and I expected it. But it has been months.

The other night, Spliff and I got into an argument. I hate arguing with her. More than I hate arguing with anyone. I started, tonight, to think about what she had said to me and why she felt like I had changed so much and moreover, why our dynamic had become so different. I came up with a few things:

One was that I no longer have a job. This may not seem like it affects Spliff at all, but she feels it does. I think that the main reason is because I have time for other people. It used to make sense that I would come home, have dinner with Spliff and then do whatever we were going to do and then we would go to bed and start all over the next day. There was no room for anyone else. I had no time or energy to maintain friendships. I had no time NOT to be at home with her. So then, it didn't matter that she didn't have any friends of her own. She didn't need them. She mentioned, during our argument, that I JM is my new "BFF". Totally childish of her, I know, but she said it. And I reacted by laughing at her. And then calling her Jason Bitterhart...Yes, I did. (And if you know what that means, then you know what that means...)

The second reason, I discovered tonight. I have always, for some reason, been almost desperate for her approval. I had a very high opinion of her and was often blinded to her faults. I have never had many girl friends. I have spent my time mainly bonding with guys because they are less complicated. They like what they like and they don't like what they don't like. They say what they mean and no matter how they smell, they are generally more objective. I like that in a person. I can hang out with guys and not worry that my hair is a mess or if I am wearing brown shoes with a black shirt. They don't give a good goddamn. But I always held Spliff above most chicks. Because she is beautiful and funny and generally, she is fun to be around. And I wanted to be liked by her. Now that I think about it, I don't know why this makes sense...or ever did. I mean seriously, I am a funny broad...and I am pretty cute and unique. And I like me.

Previously, I had always been friends with girls that I could mold in some way. Or...girls that I thought I could mold. And I knew right away that I couldn't mold Spliff, so maybe I felt like I had to make sure that I was good enough not to have to be molded myself. But now, since I have lived alone, I realize that I don't care so much about any of this stuff. I really AM different. But I am different solely because I don't care what anyone thinks. Now I wear brown shoes with a black shirt and I drink as much wine as I want and it really doesn't bother me if she thinks that my outfit is tacky. I trust that she is right if she says it is, but I don't go and change. And if she doesn't want to go barhopping, I find someone else who does. And I think that pisses her off.

This is a pretty long post about nothing. Or maybe it is about finally not giving a shit. But either way, I like not having a job, and I like going out with friends who aren't Spliff's friends. Because I started to get lost in our friendship there for a while and I forgot what it was like to have a whole brain. I forgot how it felt to be the independent girl (on every level) that J said I was, and even though it scared the shit out of him, he said he liked it.

Dammit. I am good enough, I am smart enough...and gosh darnit, people like me.

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