By the time I reached the peak of my adolescence, I had already consumed enough teen series and rom coms to know that my life only needed two things to be absolutely perfect: a guy best friend, and for me to fall in love with said guy best friend.
And for him to fall in love with me right back, obviously.
These were the angst-filled days of Dawson’s Creek Season 1 and 2, when Monday nights were devoted solely to watching Joey agonise over a pre-crying meme Dawson and his inability to see that the perfect girl he’s been looking for has been standing right in front of him this whole time, waiting for him to open his eyes and really see her.
I just wrote that entire paragraph in about five seconds by the way. It’s almost as if I was a subject matter expert on unrequited love and the hazards of being trapped in the notorious friend zone.
Yes, yes, we already know this story. It’s a tale as old as time itself. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single guy and girl can never be just friends. One or both of them will inevitably develop pesky non-platonic feelings after which drama and a whole lot of crying yourself to sleep while your sister (who also happens to be your roommate) pretends not to hear you ensues.
This isn’t going to be a post about that, Thank God.
I have already exhausted this subject and written enough about it to fill up a novel of War and Peace proportions. Instead, I’d like to focus on the first part of my adolescent dream, the having a guy best friend bit that I’ve forgotten in my foolish desire to write, direct, and star in my own teen drama series.
I have said it before and I will say it again: in this world where Hallmark reigns supreme and people make millions out of romance and sex, the value of friendship, true friendship, is vastly underrated.
Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is about a lot of things. It’s a throwback to the pre-social-media- 90s and early 2000s, that’s currently being idealised (or sanitised, depending on your viewpoint) as that wondrous, magical time when we had what we need without the excess and extra that clutters up our lives these days.
It’s a book about the magic of possibilities which, if you’ve read enough of my blogs, you would know I’m obsessed about. There’s a wonderful quote from the main character Sam early on in the book, which kept me from brushing this off as just another John Green rip-off. It was when he was in a rut, struggling with moments of indecision while trying to create something extraordinary, and he thought to himself:
The best part about this moment is that anything is still possible.
I love that. I have always loved the idea of having miracles for breakfast, of something wonderful waiting for me just around the corner, and of finding that ever-elusive indefinable something that, in some ways, I’ve been unconsciously searching for my whole life.
I love the idea of infinite chances, that tomorrow is another day to do better. As one of my favourite characters in the book puts it:
“…what is a game? It’s tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Its the possibility of infinite rebirth and infinite redemption. The idea that if you keep playing you could win. No loss is permanent, because nothing is permanent, ever.”
Remembering that quote has gotten me through some tough times in recent weeks.
But really, beyond all of that, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is an ode to uncomplicated friendships.
It’s an ode to the kind of friendship that gives without taking, because you know the other person needs it more, and because you know that they would do the same for you in a heartbeat. In the author’s own words, its kinda like when you’re taking care of a Tamagotchi: you feed it, entertain it, put it to bed, and look after it when it’s sick.
It’s a tribute to the kind of friendship you fight for, and fight to keep, even when it’s been so damaged by words and actions that the other person thinks its irreparable and just wants to be rid of you. You hound them, chase them, and spend approximately 120 minutes on the phone with them to talk out your issues, and it does get resolved eventually, even with the crappy Sun Cellular mobile network interrupting you every half hour.
It’s a love letter to the kind of friendship where you’re not afraid to let the other person know everything about you, even and perhaps especially, your faults and imperfections, because you know it’s not going to make a damn difference, they will accept you and love you anyway.
Mostly, this book is a hope fulfilled that no matter what, you’re not going to be alone, even if you stay single for the rest of your life, because your best friend will be there, reserving a space in his attic for you and your cats.
They say that life has a funny way of not giving you the things you ask for because it gives you the things you never knew you needed instead, the things you never even think to ask for.
I once thought there was nothing in the world I wanted more than to fall in love with my best friend and for him to love me back.
Now I think about my best friend, the guy who’s seen the world (or at least Europe) with me, who makes me laugh when I’m down, who listens to my misadventures and cheers me on as I pursue one crazy thing after another, who opens his home and his family to me when I’m feeling stressed, whose wife takes care of me as if I was also her best friend, whose child I love like my own.
I think about how simple and uncomplicated our friendship is, to the point where I once lost power on my mobile phone while shopping with him at Marks and Spencer’s and decided to just leave him behind, only to find out later that he also decided to do the same thing when he couldn’t reach me, and we just laughed about it afterwards.
No drama. No hassle.
I think about the past ten years of shared moments that I take for granted because I know it’s always going to be there, an anchor in the ocean, one of the few constants I can count on even if the world has gone to hell in a handbasket.
It’s not every day that I thank God that he’s chosen to give me what I needed instead of what I asked for, but I think about it every now and then, and I smile, knowing all is as it should be.