I had a circle of friends back in high school (10 years ago), there were 9 of us and we used to be really fond of each other. We were what you’d classify as ‘nerds’: there was JS, LL and MO gifted in the arts; we had KG the budding computer programmer; JP the taciturn brainiac who is almost always at the top of the class acing every subject. As regards the stereotype that nerds are socially inept (which often is the case, empirically), surprisingly part of our group were PP and TY in spite the fact that they were fairly popular given their amiable natures; also there was the lively AC, a regular presence at school plays owing to her (I write this sans exaggeration) exceptional talent as a thespian; and finally there was yours truly, the occasional prose writer.
For four school years we shared lunch tables and secrets, during summer vacations we compared dreams and ideas. It was no less than a loving family whose members happened to be around the same age. High school went by smoothly notwithstanding the few misdemeanors that got us smiling sheepishly at our parents whilst clutching in our hands a note from the principal’s office, and by the time we went to our separate universities to pursue different degrees, the symbolic floret of frail adolescent friendship has blossomed into something reminiscent of the legendary amaranth. I for one am grateful to technology for making possible what its lack might impede: communication. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, goes the cliché, belying the yearning within us all to sanctify the past- which attachment to is but an indefatigable part of human nature. I tried my best to be the friend they were used to out of loyalty and perhaps more selfishly, because of the longing for reciprocation. How I failed to spot the red flags of disenchantment I could not fathom: such as those excuses made to evade reunions ranging from “my family has plans for the weekend” to the perplexing “do we really need to?” (this is my best friends I’m writing about), the ignored e-mail messages, how they would immediately go offline once they see my name logged on as though I were a plague to be avoided, and how indifferent they have become in those rare opportunities that we were actually in the same vicinity together.
My reason fully comprehends their unspoken sentiments whereas my will remains adamant to keep the friendship intact. Confusion led to resentment, resentment brought forth grief. Grief directed to the realization that memories no longer hold any possibility of manifestation in real life. The great visionary Aldous Huxley once wrote, “What is important is less the reason for the experience than the experience itself…” however it does not quite reverberate in this particular circumstance wherein the experience is exclusively provided for, and therefore indistinguishable from the reason for the experience- or it could just be wishful thinking on my part. No matter, life, as I could quantify it in a simple sentence, is a continuous branching out; furthermore, a constant broadening of horizons to whither only Providence knows, and whose only guarantee to mankind is the sanctuary of firmly-entrenched roots that serve as an allegory for the soul. We branch out to accommodate change, be it physically, emotionally, psychologically, and whatnot, but in a parallel sphere the soul persists. Unlike the literal root, the soul neither expands nor regresses attributing to privation of mass to begin with. Nevertheless the similarity of the twain subsists in the strength of both to hold fast amidst all kinds of external transformation.
Suffice to say, I had undergone the pain of losing my best friends only to be vindicated in the end by gaining my soul- that bastion of my being, generous irrespective of situation to provide solace. Who better to belong to than thy self? Ruminations of jests and affections are left to the misty adolescent past, best this way in fact, if only as a means to gain more insight into what constitutes one’s nature below the persona. My eyes see the world now with rejuvenated clarity and with childlike fervor look forward to navigating the waters of the yet mysterious future, however tempestuous it might be. Chronos in lissome movements shall unveil my place under the sun.
Thus the legend of the amaranth proved defenseless against that despot, time.