Andrew Wicks

Oh, Friend: The Case for Letting Old Acquaintance Be Forgot

Friends come and go. But to see my ex-bestie degenerate into a passing nod was too much to bear – and also not.


Yesterday, a dear friend passed me. One that I’ve known for the majority of this new millennium. I’ll admit that our grand unique moments now blend into one forgotten night and, if quizzed, I’d be unable to tell you what her favorite food is or career was. But I never knew what they were. That didn’t matter. We were friends.

As we crossed opposing paths like two social jousters, our eyes twinkled in recognition: Hey, it’s Wicksy! Yet, at the moment of impact, the contact was lacking. I wished her a happy birthday (I forgot to mention it on Facebook), we extended our arms upwards, and our gauntlets clashed in the positive action of American sporting support – the high five. Our horses did not cease, nor turn, nor halt. There was no conversation, instead we blithely carried on with our respective workdays.

Upon reflection, it’s strange how years of connection can be boiled down to a tilt of the head and how a past relationship can be deemed not worthy enough to interrupt the forward-momentum needed to fulfill the task at hand (I had to buy replacement flip-flops). Perhaps in our sharp meeting of palms boomed an audible reminder of what we had, and no longer do. Not that I remember exactly what that was … but, nonetheless, it meant something.

I sought counsel with my cohort, a fellow refugee from our club days, who gave me nothing beyond a prompt to write this article. As a side note, that friendship has been kept by virtue of contemporary small-town meetings of chance, advice not taken, and the endless search for lunchtime bread rolls. But, that’s something else.

Conversely, how had it come to this? For a localized night of the week, our hips were joined-eth, and I’m sure if cirrhosis of the liver shall befall me, part of the autopsy shall read: Adriana.

It’s not as if when the nightclub lights came on for the last time, ours were knocked out; we had a loose, easy-going connection. But as rom-com mythology legislates, you don’t know the importance of a moment until it becomes a memory, and we had that. I met her fiancée (hell of a nice guy) in Woolworths, and while we were unsure what to speak of, not wanting to dip into our ancient drunken shenanigans, I spoke of the Elvis Sandwich. But it was still a conversation. Perhaps talking about the bitter weakness that claimed genius was the final straw that severed the limb on the camel’s back. But, that mattered not; whatever the reason, that day signposted the moment we stopped trying. Full motion and passing gestures would now be the unspoken policy strictly adhered to.

But the question still clears its throat in the back of the room. If we’ve dipped from bro’s to no’s, large talk to small talk to no talk, what happens when the high five is deemed too familiar for the most tenuous of connections? Have the off-key warblings of the painted prophet come to pass; is she just somebody that I used to know?

Friends come and go, as the truism states. So, do we start again, or not? All I’m asking is the opportunity to plead my case. I can be an extremely infrequent fourth substitute brunch buddy. Whatever. It’s preferable to this. Whatever this is. Are we now a historical footnote? Is that it? When was that discussion held? In the four years where we had no contact?

You didn’t have to cut me off.

Friends on Facebook, but not in life. Perhaps the Facebook friendship has overtaken the real one, and our actions now reflect that, because that relationship now means more. A passing thumb on life’s occasional triumphs, those same triumphs we don’t care enough to talk about in person.




Andrew Wicks

Andrew Wicks is a country boy with a penchant for movies and sport. After a few years working in health, he decided he'd rather work with today's youth and studied arts and education in rural NSW. His main interests are religion, health, and lairy shirts.

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