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An audio message, an ode

My best friend left me an audio message the other day in which she mused in wonder about the fact that we’ve been talking, talking, talking

back and forth on the phone to each other for years—16 years to be exact.


Living in the same place for only two of those 16 years, we’ve managed to maintain a vibrant long-distance relationship that, in my not-so-humble estimation, rivals even the most star-crossed of lovers.

All our talking has taken us through the predictable dramas and tribulations of new cities, new boyfriends, new apartments, new jobs...and in all that time, she goes:


“You know, I find it amazing that we’ve never run out of things to talk about.”


On the contrary, we are always running out of time to talk about all the things on our ever-expanding list,

each call to be picked up the next day or maybe the next week...

“How was your weekend?” one of us will start.


I imagine these conversations laid out on end, one after another—

a long string tethering us together like a tin-can telephone,

only ours spans the Atlantic rather than the gap between neighbors’ windows.

There’s another truth awaiting remark in her comments,

a glint of nostalgia that comes through,

a realization that all of this talking has taken us from teenagehood to our still yet-to-be-fully-accepted adulthood.

The recognition that countless details of our lives are crystallized in the web of our conversations, or rather,

left behind in the cobwebs, no matter the fervor with which they were initially recounted.


How, in the moment, the details are the everything that lead us to our most important moments,

yet in the end, they inevitably fade into the larger sweep of our story.


I tell her, “This is the longest, most loving relationship I’ve ever had.”

and feel an inexplicable shyness as the truth of those words sink in

because

how often do we stop to appreciate our friendships?


Those lifesaving buoys that sustain us when the temperaments of romantic and familial love throw us for a loop or knock us off our feet,

the people who embrace our fullest expressions and are there simply because they want to be.


That’s the crux of it right there—what inspired this ode, this love letter of sorts to all the life-giving friendships out there.

For the ones that, like us, never stop talking, and, no matter how long it’s been, are always quick to pick up where they left off.

“So, last night...”


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