I discovered the comic of Yumi Sakugawa online, through the Facebook page of Bell Jar. Just to inspire you to see how beautiful it is with drawings (here), and because it gives me a reason to read it again, I paste the text here :
I have a confession to make.
I think I am in friend-love with you.
I don’t want to date you or even make out with you.
Because that would be weird.
I just so desperately want for you to think
that I am this super-awesome person
because I think you are a super-awesome person
and I want to spend a lot of time hanging out with you.
I want to Facebook-chat with you after midnight.
I want you to text me to hang out.
In a platonic way, of course.
I want us to @reply to each other’s tweets
and reblog each other’s Tumblr reblogs
because what you find beautiful, funny and heartbreaking in this world
is what I find beautiful,funny and heartbreaking in this world.
And when we do hang out, I don’t want to swap saliva
I just want to swap favourite books.
I want our hello/good-bye hugs to be longer than a casual friend hug
but never so long that it becomes a lover’s embrace.
And if we were to be sitting on the same couch watching a movie
I might lean my left arm just a little against your right arm
but never put my head on your shoulder or try to hold your hand.
Because that would be weird.
So please, before I completely lose my mind
can you surprise me with pokes on Facebook?
Can you e-mail me weird blog links that remind you of me?
Can you text me when something crazy happens on the T.V. show we are both watching
and let me walk with you to your favourite food truck?
In return, I will laugh at all your jokes (even the unfunny ones)
and find the best hole-in-the-wall cafes for us to have never-ending conversations in.
I will make bad Photoshop drawings commemorating our hang-outs
and every single one of our internet meme cat jokes
will be referenced to in the birthday cards I will draw for you every year.
Believe it or not,I wouldn’t be sad if you are already in a romantic relationship.
As a matter of fact, I would be really happy for you
because that’s what friends are for.
But if your super-awesome close friend quota has already reached its capacity
then that would really break my heart into a million pieces.
Maybe you don’t feel the same friend-love
that I feel for you.
After all, we only have so much time in this world
to only have so many friends.
Thanks for reading this.
I hope you are doing well.
– Yumi Sakugawa (I Think I Am in Friend-Love With You)
– – –
I miss you. It’s been two years now and I still miss you. I’m sorry, because I know it’s not reciprocal.
I still remember as clear as water when we met. The teacher asked for a business example to cover a certain theory.
I expected the usual answers : Apple, Youtube, Google or Amazon. Business students were all so fascinated by multinational companies in the media. The bigger, the better. Sometimes, someone would name a powerful company from his or her country and people would ignore because they couldn’t relate to something they didn’t already know. Or someone would say “Playboy” and everyone would giggle. In my hometown, in the previous two years, most of the business classes I attended felt meaningless or deeply opposed my values. I felt sick, I had faith it would be different overseas, so I went away for my final year. But it wasn’t different.
So I was in Poland, attending the classes always as processions by The Church of Saint Steve Jobs. It was my fourth month : really, I expected nothing.
You said : “Couchsurfing.”
I said: “Are you from the United States?” You said no.
Your voice was clear and your gaze was honest. Your face wasn’t expressing a quest for approval, wasn’t bothered by my presumption, wasn’t afraid of my judgment neither. You looked free of everything, although so well grounded. I wondered how you learned about Couchsurfing. I wondered what you thought of it. I wondered if you tried it or only heard of it. You were the first student I spontaneously and naturally wanted to hear more about. I already hoped for your friendship.
Two years went by and I forgot many stories. However, I still remember the good emotions attached to them.
You spent a few months in America and you had tons of adventures to share. I loved your perky smile when you recalled studiously planning stealing of courtesy stuff while working in a hotel, underpaid but still decided to get a glimpse of the American Dream. I laughed when you undertook to relate your time in the airport, having too much stuff in your luggage, even stolen pillows (!) and you proceeded to open all of your bags in the middle of the hall, reorganizing your stuff to squeeze everything in, or at least keep the most important things.
You impressed so much my artist boyfriend when you talked about animation movies. You knew artists’ names that many connoisseurs couldn’t put their finger on. I was so proud to have a brilliant friend.
My boyfriend told me how ravishingly beautiful you were. There were a lot of other beautiful expatriates to be curious about, but your own beauty was indeed intricate, complex and memorable.
A cutie was flocking around you – he looked timid and lovely, and I hearted your blossoming flirt. Then you told me what he told you – actually, you were just another through all girls he slept with. I couldn’t imagine you could be trivial for someone, because you were one of a kind for me. By coincidence, your outside beauty reflected your inside beauty. In the context of consume-and-discard relationships associated with Erasmus programs, I wished that by your looks, other people would get the hint of how unique you were. They might guess how beautiful you truly were deep inside and would be motivated to care a little more about you.
You said you expected very little opportunities for you in your country and considered to leave. I asked : «Do you consider Canada?» You said yes.
I had this dormant hope that maybe, if you would ever choose to leave your country, my friendship could be a bonus point to choose Canada over another country of equal quality. I already met a friend through a student exchange program, and by coincidence, she lived in the next city and we had a strong friendship for three years. So maybe, once again it could happen. I never planned anything for this. It was all your choice. I wasn’t in a hurry. I just wanted to keep in touch with the amazing women you are.
I wrote you three or four emails, and said hello 4 or 5 times on Facebook within two years. You wrote me one letter, apologizing for not answering earlier and for your laziness. With time, I realized that my seasonal contacts to keep in touch weren’t unanswered by laziness, but by disinterest. Yes, my heart broke into a million pieces when I realized you kept liking and commenting posts from a common friend, while my invitation to connect on Skype went unanswered. You didn’t want to keep in touch.
I understand it. I’ve experienced it too. Once, I met a lovely woman in a terrible job, and only her presence and her friendship made my time there bearable. But after I left, I realized I couldn’t relate to her out of the workplace. She broke off ties. It’s ok – we’ve all been in both roles. I have no bitterness for you, no acrimony for that dead relationship. In nature, only one out of a thousand sea turtles makes it to adulthood.
– – –
It’s hard, intimately and publicly, to say “I love you”, because society can’t conceive female friendship over gossiping, shoes and winning over cuties. (And I don’t even extend to male-female friendship.) Half of the Hollywood movies don’t even pass the Bechdel Test, so how could we imagine female friendship as something real or serious in the real life?
Women are capable of friendship.
I loved you because I admired you, because you awake my passion for themes I barely knew before, because the stories of your relationship with your family made me both double-think about mine and cheered me up, because I felt your joys as intently and genuinely as they were mine, because you were different from anyone I knew before.
Your friendship was serious and precious to me because you embodied someone I wanted to be. By your fondness, I felt closer to a greater self. By the time you spent with me, I felt worthy, because I thought I represented something like this for you too. Or maybe I relieved your burden, or I exalted your joy. I have no control on what the relationship was for you, the only thing I made sure of is that you wanted to be in it.
The last evening we spent together, I knew it would be the last before a very long time or maybe forever. I enjoyed each minute, and listened to you even more attentively than usual. I took delight in hearing you talk again about your love of arts, your culture, your passions, your family, your doubts and your queries about your future. As always, I was inspired, fascinated and entertained. I am now mourning this friendship. Your great life takes shape now, without me.
I miss you, but I’ll move on.
I am not holding it against you. You are free, of my friends, you were the most passionate about freedom, and I admired it so much.
I am not angry, I am not jealous, I am not critical.
You owe me nothing, you never had to.
I want to grieve this friendship by respect for you, and for me. I am simply pained that our feelings had different roots, and stopped growing in different times. No one is at fault. There are friendship breakups, friendships at first sight, friendship readjustments. There are also friendships grieves, so I ask you nothing, expect nothing and neither disavow this friendship.
I don’t even want to say “thank you”, because that would feel weird. Your friendship wasn’t a Christmas gift, and even less an act of abnegation. We were friends for a certain period fixed in time, now it’s gone, and that’s okay.
Thanks for reading this.
I hope you are doing well.
– – –
Credits : Magda Andrzejewska