This story is one that was very difficult for me to write. It was both a return to and a stepping out of something: in the recent past, I feel that I’ve dipped my toes (or perhaps fallen headlong) into the strange, the fairy tale-but-not-quite; I’ve tried more and more to challenge myself by writing based on certain guidelines or prompts (e.g. without mentioning a certain word, by using words as numbers, etc.)–in the further past, I wrote stories that were quite straightforward but also (I feel, now) autobiographical enough to be quite impersonal (there was no invention of anything–or not enough, anyhow). Whether near or far in the timeline of writing, I think I have written mostly about erotic desire: because I found it easy, because there was a lot of feeling and material to work from.
However, recently, I have had friendship on the mind and how it is just as complex as (if not more so than) erotic desire. It is just an explicable, can be just as painful once lost or strained. Why do we not talk of these aches more often? Maybe because it is harder to try and iterate something that is usually formed unconsciously and which doesn’t ask of us any acknowledgement before coming about. In a romantic relationship, there has to be an asking, some sort of formal (or at least clear) consent. With friendship, there just has to be the friendship.