Sunday, September 16, 2007

Like so much sand a Best Friendsip is gone

One occasion does comes to mind with regards to devastating my ego. It is my best friend. I had given him my address for when I was to be at war in Iraq. He promised to write. He was one of the few I confided in regarding just how scared I was to be going. You see, I was going to Kuwait during this first deployment of mine to Iraq mere weeks before what was to begin what we call “The War in Iraq.” I didn’t have and fancy ideas about us not invading Iraq; I knew it was inevitable in our political climate. So when I told him I was going to Kuwait I knew that I was really going to be one of the first ground troops to invade Iraq since Operation Desert Storm.

I was scared, nervous, and excited for combat. He knew all these things because I had said as much to him. He was my very best friend, why wouldn’t I. One other thing I told him was that I wouldn’t be able to make any phone calls, but letters would help me get through it all. He made a solemn promise to write me every few weeks, just so that I would get mail. My wife and kids of course would write as well (and did) but he was one of the few males I would call friends, and of those he was my best friend. Months of combat went by with no letters from him. Through the combat and death I almost forgot him.

It wasn’t until I returned that it hit me, just how devastated my ego was that I had not received a single correspondence from my very best friend. Even old acquaintances I had thought forgotten had found a way to write me while I was in Iraq and yet, he had not. It hurt me very much and for a long time I refused to call him. When we finally talked he told me he just didn’t think about it and that it wasn’t a big deal. This again was a huge ego buster, that my best friend didn’t think it was a big deal? Maybe for him it wasn’t but for me it was huge, and it made me realize something I had known for quite a while but had never admitted. He was selfish and one of the main reasons he had needed me as a friend during high school, was that he was so introverted and self conscious while I was not. He relied on me for social interaction as much as I relied on him for camaraderie. Lost was that connection we once had as best friends. In its place was more of a common acceptance of each other on good will that, like the miles which kept us apart, created fleeting memories of better times. We were best friends once, yet now we are more friendly acquaintances who happen to remember a phone call every now and again.