Oscar Wilde famously said,
Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.
I must admit that I've never really read Oscar Wilde, nor have I cared much for his writing. I don't know the context in which this was said but I find myself thinking about this poignant collection and arrangement of words. They f***ing bother me! They bother me because in my own very limited experience of life, people and places, this has in most cases been true. What starts off as a simple friendship is often marred by ulterior motives, mistrust, bad judgement, unrequited love and all manner of infinite possibilities.
In my experience, the number is 2! 2 friendships whose failures were extinction level events, they failed on an epic and biblical scale. I don't know how many of these a person goes through in their lifetime but I sincerely hope 2 is the limit.
The first one; though not as Oscar Wilde said, between a man and a woman, came earlier in life when I was 16. He was my best friend. Best friend going on three (3) years in an environment that everyone needed a best friend, boarding school. Yes I do admit that as friends, we were by no means equal. While we both benefited from the attributes of physical strength; mentally and academically we were quite different. Black and White, Yin and Yang, smart and not so much. Anyway, this friendship came to an abrupt halt following the release of our secondary school results, where I had excelled and he hadn't. A series of ill-fated conversations revealed a deep-seated dislike of me. Apparently, I had made my way through secondary school too casually, far too easily to be deserving of such good results. Not only had I done that, but apparently I did it while rubbing it in his face all the way through secondary school. Oh, and I got the girl! Fast forward 12 years and we haven't spoken since.
I'm older and wiser these days. If the same situation played out now, there'd be a sharp exchange of words which would have ended with me saying 'F**k you and get over yourself asshole. Now let's go and get a drink.' We'd probably still be friends and would have realized that secondary school results had little to do with one's outcome in life.
The second cataclysmic failure of a friendship is much more complicated, more recent and a potentially more interesting read. Complicated and interesting because it involves a man (me) and woman (shall not be named) in a platonic relationship.
To be continued...