My dislike of "forever" should not be mistaken for a dislike of commitment. I'm committed to veganism, to straight edge, to punk rock. I can go ahead and pledge a personal eternity on those. What I dislike about the idea of one person committing to another "forever" is the short-sightedness on the reality that people will inevitably move in different directions, AND that the moving is both natural and good. I'm also maddened by the widely held belief that just because something doesn't last "forever" doesn't mean it's not worth-while. It is!
Life doesn't last forever but it's worthwhile. Let's compare relationships to brunch. The ratio of the work you put in for brunch verses the time it takes you to eat it is severely lopsided. Not only that, but after all the work, and all the clean up, and the short moments of home-cooked bliss, you're left with nothing. There is nothing in your kitchen but a lack of certain ingredients. The dishes are clean, no sign of meals-gone-by. You digest and expel your brunch. But was it worthwhile? Did you not enjoy every mouthful fully? Will you not go on to dine again?
I'm just being reasonable here. So when I'm told by someone that they want to be with me "forever" (after double checking that I haven't wandered into a Disney movie), this is what I say:
"How about we stay together for as long as we're happy, and when we stop being happy, we call it quits?"
I'm writing this because exactly 1 year ago today I started dating my best friend. His name is Dave. We play in a few bands together, we live together, we work together. Here is how I realized that I was falling in love with him, back when he was just my best friend/roommate/band mate:
We were in Europe on tour. On the particular day that I felt the pluckings of my heart strings we were in Bologna, Italy (where the panoramic photo that heads my blog was taken.) Dave and I walked around the city together talking about our ideal future lives. As I described mine (which at the time I thought about quite frequently- a small apartment in Europe with a balcony overlooking a cobblestoned street, living with little more than my record player, records, a radio, my books, and a desk), I felt a distinct sinking feeling in my middle- almost as if I had been hollowed out. Where did my organs go? Dave listened to me rattle on about my ideal life adding every now and then, "That sounds great!", which I knew it once had but at that moment sounded worse with each detail I gave.
My future was a lonely place that I didn't want time to lead me to anymore. But if I didn't want to be in meticulously-dreamed up dream-life, then where did I want to be?
My middle was now full of squirming knotted snakes as my the question answered itself. I wanted to be in that day wandering Bologna. Or back in the tour van shivering in my sleeping bag. In Texas, in the desert, in Antarctica. Anywhere that Dave was. Without Dave, life was 2-dimensional. No amount of peaceful solitude, no antique desk, no apartment above a flower shop, no breezy European life would ever come close to even the worst times with him.
These first feelings I thought were merely those of a very close friendship. I had felt the same about my best friend Maura in the 3rd grade. But as time went on, it became apparent that there was something more to it.
So, here we are. It's been a year. I still don't believe in "forever", but I can't imagine a tomorrow without Dave there with me. I was joking the other day that we're like the pointer of a Ouija board, gravitating toward the same things, neither of us sure who's leading the way. I imagine that's how the future will be. Maybe it'll go on "forever", though I have no way to know. I can never promise feelings, I will never take emotional oaths that bind (some call it "marriage"), but what I can do is tell the truth, and this is it:
For the foreseeable future that I can't even dream an end to, I want to be with Dave.
Maybe I'm just arguing semantics.
Forever? Whatever. Maybe I'm a believer...
(in St Petersburg, Russia)
(In Moscow, Russia)
(on a bus to Barcelona)
(LOLs during sets...)