Anybody familiar with my writing knows that abandonment is a reoccurring theme. So frequently do I catalog the intense emotions intertwined with chronic trauma, that you may be surprised to know that not everybody fled. This is a somebody who stayed. A friend from college, I tediously sent Max a laconic text message after being discharged from Stanford Hospital and sent home to die in 2012. Words I thought were sure to be among my last. Please come. Without explanation, this friendly face drove five hours to my home. He acted with dignity, respect and compassion as I laid listlessly, tubes snaking out from my ghastly body. Despite the dire situation, he did not appear afraid. In between the pulses of pulverizing pain, I wondered if I’d ever see him again.
Fast forward six years, here we are today. Though I haven’t seen Max in several years, or even talked to him over the phone, there was something deliciously wonderful upon seeing his face and somehow feeling as though we are again, twenty-one years old, the very same people stowed away in desks, dreaming about one day saving the world.
This is friendship.