dear ben.


dear ben,

i heard you're married now. congratulations. when we were friends, and we talked, i always thought i'd end up being your best man someday. i really thought we were best friends just because we listened to the same music and shared the same negative outlook on life. pretty foolish, huh?

i still don't get why you stopped talking to me the summer before freshman year. it was all very weird to me. you said that it was because i "fucked up [your] computer," but it must've been something else. maybe you just wanted to make new friends. nothing wrong with that. i just wish you had told me that was the real reason. who knows? maybe i did fuck up your computer.

i don't know why you hung out with us asian kids. that was a weird thing for a white kid to do. you were like the opposite of noel. a filipino with the white kids, and you, a white kid with the asians. what an anomaly. you even played on the a team with the white kids, but you hung out with us. maybe it was a class issue. your house wasn't as big as the one all those white kids had.

your house was weird. i remember when we were hanging out in your room, and your mom opened the door. "shut the fucking door," you said to her. my jaw must have hit the floor. your mom just looked at me. "you see the way he talks to me?" she said. she shut the door like you had asked. and then we probably listened to korn or marilyn manson or the deftones, and we thought we were cool.

we both liked the same girl. her name was becca. i never talked to her in real life, but sometimes i'd talk to her on aol. her screenname was bekaboo360. i'd chat with her, and she'd chat with me, even though she didn't know who i was. she seemed sad a lot of the time, and i kind of liked that. she was in love with some douchebag named kevin, though. i didn't know who the hell he was, and i don't think you did, either. you told me you danced with her at cotillion. i never went. i think i had social anxiety disorder, or else i just wanted people to feel bad for me.

you hated school as much as i did. why go to school when we could just be rockstars. i told you we should start a band. i had a guitar, and you ended up buying a bass, but i think that you gave up on it. we never jammed. i'd show you that i could play riffs from songs we heard on kwod 106.5 like "1979" and "just a girl." you, me, carly, and claire. we were the only "rockers" at the school. rock and roll, man.

we went to our first rock concert together. we saw little guilt shrine, dada, the plimsouls, solution a.d. and jewel. it was 1996, and it was kwod's first summerfest. my cousin took us, and joseph and dong came along, even though they hated the music. what the hell were we even doing there? what an odd group.

that was the same summer we all decided to shave our heads. you said i looked weird, like billy corgan. i didn't realize until i had shaved my head that my face was really round, and that i didn't look good with a shaved head. everyone else could pull it off. i remember when my mom first saw me with all my hair gone. she looked shocked, and she had to sit down. she told me it was bad, and that she didn't like it.

i remember when we had latin together. i instant messaged you one night. i asked what the deal was, and were you really never going to talk to me again? "that's the plan," you wrote back. i argued that we were going to see each other everyday, and that avoiding each other would be impossible. "i don't give a fuck," you wrote back. you really wanted nothing to do with me.

at the time, i was really upset about it. but now that i'm older, and now that a handful of friendships have dissolved on me already, i don't let it get to me.

we're all replaceable.

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