Terrible Friend

Friday, March 20, 2020

I have an awful confession to make. I don't know anything about my best friend.

I won't name her or reference name here. This is a pathetic confession and one I didn't need to make but I have a work deadline so naturally, I have this giant urge to scratch the pus-filled pimple on my ass.

I know nothing about her besides the basics. Basics like the number of members in her family, a dish she loved that her grandmother cooked well, food her grandfather bought from the market, mother's birthday, ex-boyfriend's birthday, current boyfriend's birthday, sibling she treats like her own child, shoe size, number of surgeries.
Like I said, it's not much, just the basics.

What I don't know is a long list. Starting from her favourite film to her dog. Considering I met her at the film school we attended together, that film bit is a big problem. Coming to her pets, I don't even know whether she has two of them or one. If I know how many dogs you have, you should know you have an oversharing problem.

Just before she left the city, we stayed till late at her house and talked. After she was done segregating her clothes and the rest to take, we sat and watched all the old videos of us doing things. At some point, we came across one where her dog was chasing a reptile.
No, she wasn't the dog and I wasn't the reptile. There were other backed up videos.

We also had an elaborate conversation on how I'd never visit her farm cause I find reptiles abhorring and she told me about the time the giant tiger killed a human baby. Was it a lion? I don't remember. Another confession. It doesn't have anything to do with her, everything to do with my bad memory and how little space she occupies even when she's around. Typical middle child, ugh. As an overbearing first born, my first instinct is to squat inside the head of everyone I meet. Naturally, I'm disappointed easily and beyond belief when I realize that hasn't happened. The ones where I make an impact become my friends and the rest, furniture.

However, what I do remember is that her dog was chasing an exquisite lizard at her farm. Right after she took the video, she was yelled at her by her dad for allowing them to be terrorized. She told me this without any emotion, grudge or otherwise.

Them, yes, two dogs. I don't know their names. This is under a month ago. I have no excuses besides the fact that I'm a shitty friend. Chamcham? Fuck.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've never remembered names. I do recall asking her the names of her dogs and I know this is a question she's addressed one too many times.

But, I don't remember.

Ofcourse, I'd be the first to cut people out when they don't remember basics about including what cheese I prefer and what flavours of chips I eat. Or my birthday. My shampoo preference, toothpaste preference, my favourite colour for t-shirts, and favourite colour of shirt on men.

Fun fact, every time I want to get to know someone better, I ask them about their pets and family (in that order). It's my way to show I care or that I intend to, atleast, about them as a person and about us as friends.

For example, I am not a complete shitshow. Look, I know my friend T has a dog called Meow. Also, I'm pretty certain my friend T has another name here cause I've never in all these years addressed him as T. Is it Tooshes? Tootiekins? I don't fucking remember. My memory's clouded with a surreal amount of Modi facts, Amit Shah's lies and so on. On that note, I want to know what T's pet was called, who he tragically lost. I KNOW HE FUCKING TOLD ME THAT OVER DRINKS ONCE. I also want to know a lot of other things about a lot of other people but I'll hold that until I'm a few drinks down and sentimentally sloshed. I don't foresee me losing my shit at a party, bawling my eyes out anytime soon. We'll wait. Or not. Nobody was amused that one time I cried hard at a party that I'm pregnant when my period was a week late. Ironically two men offered to adopt the unborn baby while my friend tried telling one (now husband, her boyfriend at the time), "Babe, I don't think she's touched a man recently..."

I remember seethingly painful details of times I'd rather not remember. At the same time, I don't have an answer to her question, "why won't you fucking have sex with that gorgeous man?" A question she asks me on the regular, at least once a fortnight. She stopped with it when she figured I was putting my life in danger with someone she begged me to not do anything with. Since then she's toned down about inspiring me or pushing me to do anything with anyone.

Coming back to Meow, just to prove, I remember and I care, he once nearly attacked my outfit when I dropped by after a meeting to grab a bite and smoke a doob. I was terrified that Meow would ruin my clothes cause I had to go back to work, something I recall did not happen on both counts.

I know a lot about Zoey and Sparky too, and also that their owner's wifi password is "ZoeySparky157". That's a detail I don't need to know. Or remember. But, I do.

I know these won't bode well for me and I'm risking pissing her off, when I don't want to. Where this giant piece of shitty confession comes from is even worse.

Earlier today, I was in the process of commissioning a present for my best friend's birthday from another friend who does stunning handjobs with thread. You can check out her work here. I had to come back with some visual briefs, which I was supposed to do four hours ago.

"Does she like a show? Does she like the Office?"

"Yeah, she does! She does."

It occurred to me that last year, in addition to throwing an Office themed party, I also gifted her a Michael Scott dead-inside t-shirt. I'm certain that she can't like one show. What else does she like?

I know she likes certain fragrance notes cause she's left those with me including perfumes, hand and body creams but again, she's left them so no point chasing her with those. I also know she likes her boyfriend a lot.

I weirdly know more about what her boyfriend likes than what she does. It's true. Our friends know more about the guys we like than we know about them.

I know he likes her and Bollywood gossip just as much. I know he loves watching Sumukhi Suresh, that he's pollen allergy and that he loves the Office just as much. He and I have that in common, in addition to loving this girl who I apparently know nothing about as of March 2020. He's reticent when it comes to meeting people. He is also competitive when it comes to sharing her with me.

About two hours into the design research, I gave up. It took me another fifteen minutes to frame this in an oh-so nonchalant text.
"list me your favourite films and tv shows and favourite characters and favourite things to do"

If she knows me, which she does, she would call me out/see through this.

Fun fact: I value people who can see through my bullshit and call me out.

Asking someone close to you for nearly a decade, these basic-bitch questions is certainly not okay. Especially when they know intimate details about your last hookup (the architecture of the space to begin with) and you, about their condom preference.

It's surreal how I don't know the basics but know other details. I know the poster she's had in her house since she's lived in a house by herself. I had half a mind to get that commissioned but I saw references and didn't like any. Does she like any sport? Not that I can think of. Does she like games? No. She hates them. She also thinks I'm lame because I fuss over them.

It's been three weeks since she's moved and it seems like a lifetime. In her absence, all I remember are all the banal details we've exchanged. She's gone for the better part of this year and I know I'm going to countdown days until she comes back.

Why is it that when people are around you never tend to talk the small stuff? You only think of it when they're away, gone or aren't there to help you with those answers.

I would imagine there are things she doesn't know about me and would hesitate to ask. For example, she possibly doesn't know the cheese I eat versus the cheese I dislike, the chips I love and the toothpaste flavours I prefer. I have just recently figured that she and I stand on two different spectrum about chips and it's crucial for me to be on the same page with people about chips. If you are coming home with a pack of tomato flavoured Crax, we have cracks in our relationship. Before laying down the foundation to see someone as a friend, if you don't show an active interest in Blue Lays and Yellow Lays, we are done.

But then again, she compensates. She tricked me into going wedding shopping with her knowing very well how much I despise that stuff, is better friends with our pet parrot than she's with me, also has my erstwhile pet turtle on her Instagram and has made an effort to remember my birthday when she gets confused between her mother's birthday every year.

Maybe this is all nothing but PMS and that I will remember the name of her pet (I was hoping it would occur by the time I'd be done writing this post but apparently that is untrue). Or maybe, she will learn about the terrible excuse of a person I am but seriously, I know that she loves fresh orange juice and that she drinks whiskey with a little bit of coke and doesn't give two hoots about what I think about it.

Maybe this is love; being okay with knowing things you'd rather not know and then with those you know but can't seem to remember.

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