No, this is not a birthday gift or a wish, since I know you’re too cool for all that. But I must say I haven’t been a really good friend these days. And yet you remain, right where you have always been on the hierarchy of friends. I know, I know, the list is stupid. You can’t rate friends as 1st, 2nd and 3rd but it keeps me sane to do so. And even when I call you by your first name or act all mean and rude and you’ve slipped down to number five because you ruined my New Year or disappeared for a month, the fact remains that you are one of my best friends.
And that is why I am writing you this letter. I am told that I can write huge letters for the people I care about, yet when I actually need to write something important, my mind goes blank and I grasp on straws for the right word with the right meaning. I have written so many letters already that I forget even about the people they were addressed to but I still remember the letter I wrote to my third best friend two years ago. I remember every word of it and it’s not weird.
I have an email pending in my inbox from Arundhati Roy from when I wrote her a letter on her birthday. It was just three days ago and yet, today I have forgotten what I had written, though I meant every word of it when I wrote it.
I heard your voice today and it sounded so tired and distant that you might as well have sighed at seeing my name in the caller ID. I know you’ve lost the habit of talking to me. I have too. I don’t remember what it’s like to call up a friend just for a chat (or even for a birthday wish, seriously). But I guess what I am trying to say through this letter is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if we don’t talk for a while or for a long time or ever. It doesn’t matter if you loose the habit, are busy or just plain disappointed. It doesn’t matter if we just loose touch (because it seems inevitable at this point), I’ll still think of you, once in every BLUE MOON.
And when I do that, I will remember the guy who IS my third best friend. I will remember the person who made me laugh within minutes of me being depressed as hell even when I got angry at you for it. I will remember someone who changed the lyrics of Norwegian Woods for me and changed my identity to that of my fictional counterpart. Naoko is gone. But I think you have got to make it to the point with Raeko to finally become Toru. Or you’ll end up like Dr Tokai. And I just cannot have that happening.
Work, but don’t starve yourself. Drink, but don’t drown yourself. Hang out with friends but don’t start hating your solitude or yourself. And whatever you do, forgive me. It’s kinda quite necessary that you do.
Damn, I thought it wouldn’t be a sappy letter. I should retry.
Guess what, I think I know a real-time combination of Ted Mosby, just with hints of Barney in him. It is not like I expected. Because Barney is all cool on TV but you don’t wish to hang out with a guy like that. And Ted is perfect on paper but YOU CAN’T REALLY HANG OUT WITH PERFECT PEOPLE EITHER. And you know, the busier I get in my life and in the field of journalism (coincidentally) the more I start feeling like Robin.
Guess what, I think, umm… okay this is a really hard confession to make. But, reading Killing commendatore slowly made me really take in Murakami’s writing and though I adored it in the beginning ( for around 200 pages actually), now I am kinda not feeling it. I don’t get what’s the theme or what is so special about it. And I kinda am looking down on myself because of it. Because if I don’t even have one constant thing in life (like my love for Murakami’s writing), what do I have? But then I begin thinking that it is okay. It’s just a low point in the novel, things will get better and even if they don’t, there are always other books of his. Or maybe my taste is evolving. When I needed dreams the most, as an escapist to leave my life behind, Murakami was my sanctuary. But now, I kinda actually like my life. And so these dreams make me feel like waking up early.
Guess what, I read this really great poem by Agha Shahid Ali and he used a phrase, ‘funeral in his eyes’ and I spent half an hour thinking about that phrase alone. Don’t let this letter fool you into believing I’m reading obsessively again. I got half a day after my exam when I didn’t feel like studying for my next exam and so I read, obsessively, but just on that day. I am trying to take things slow.
Guess what I like photography a lot now, and sketching and art even more. I just don’t think I have ample skills for both. I don’t think I have extraordinary writing skills either. I think I don’t really have a unique voice because my essence is made up of all the people I’ve met and know and characters I have read. And it’s okay because I have time to find it. My way of looking at the world is quite common but I’ll make it extraordinary. It just requires me to use my focus on the outside now, other than me and my daydreams. But hey, all this means I am made up of little parts of you as well.
Guess what, I have no idea about anything that is going on in your life and yes, it is mainly because I never ask. And yes, it is also because you aren’t a show-off like me and yes, it really feels bad. Because you live so far away, so not knowing what you are up to puts you in a blindspot completely where I don’t know if you’re fine or if I even exist in your mind any more or if things are even the slightest bit like what they were before.
I hope this letter reaches you in your soberest and sanest of senses. Take care, be happy and you are really a beautiful person with a wonderful soul Sandy boy. I am glad twenty-two years ago, you mom went through so much pain to bring you into this shitty world. You make it slightly less shitty.
Yeah, yeah I said it’s not a birthday letter. But…
Guess what, I lied
Your crazy and ONLY best friend (Let me live the illusion)