You can say it was love at first sight. But it was more like an instantaneous connection. A bond that would never break. It was 5 years ago that we met that summer day...but the first time i saw him, it was a brisk night in February that I'll never forget.
He was fascinating. He was alluring. He was a gentle spirit that radiated bright as the sun. I was young, bright eyed and bushy tailed. He was older, a little more experienced and he was very welcoming. He made me feel comfortable. It didn't help that he was attractive either. He was perfect in my insecure mind and my unstable world.
I remember the conversation like yesterday. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch. He lived in New York and I lived in L.A. Within two days of the initial meet - he called to tell me goodbye and that he was sorry that we couldn't hang out more while he was in L.A., but he said anytime I was in New York - call him and told me I could stay at his place. I eventually took him up on the offer, when I went there for the first time, to promote my second novel, "Full Circle" in 2007.
In the early days, we talked on the phone all the time. Staying on the phone for hours talking about the industry, the other gays - he was my friend. I felt safe with him and I trusted him. And I started to like him on another level. We had a bond and a lot of people were jealous of that. I remember once, I flew out to D.C. to support him when he was the recipient of an award. That was a fun time! In fact, it was my first time in D.C. He was a lot of the reason I began to travel a lot, he definitely inspired a lot in me.
He taught me a lot about the business. I remember going to the restroom and when I came out I overheard another gay-lebrity ask him "Why are you with him? Why is he here? I thought you hated him!" I'll always remember his response, it made me smile, but it also made me pissed that the other fag was being a hater! That wasn't the first time that happened. Once we became associated with one another, you wouldn't believe the amount of scrutiny I got.
I started noticing a few changes with him. I knew what they were about, but it's kind of hard to talk to someone about their substance abuse (hard drugs). Me being young and extremely naive (looking back) I didn't know what to do. I didn't talk about it. Although he never used around me (before my weed days) I always knew.
Over the years, I could tell that his addiction was getting worse. He got worse. It had come to a point where he stopped answering my calls...and being an addict myself, i knew what that was about. But we still remained close. I never judged. I did pray. I prayed for him. I prayed for my own recovery. Even though I wasn't on hard drugs, addiction is still addiction. The only thing that I could do was love him, continue to be his friend and never turn my back on him. He was a friend to me and I was loyal to him.
Late last year, I had come to the conclusion that I was going to stop dealing with him. I was going through my own changes and something that I didn't particularly care for transpired between us one night while we were in The Hamptons together. I attributed it to his drug use, but i still made the choice to leave him alone. I gave him some space. I stopped calling and I began production on "Pop Life" and channeled my energy towards that.
At the top of the year, we had began talking again. He insisted that we hangout, but something kept telling me not to visit - and i am glad I followed my intuition. One morning, I woke up and deleted his number. But because it had been in my phone 5 years, i knew the number by heart.
When I woke up this morning, I saw that i had a missed call from him. I wasn't too elated. In fact I carried on about my day and ignored the fact that he called.
I spent my day going over edits for "Pop Life", reading my twitter and praying.
Something hit me. Call him. I just thought about our whole friendship. I thought about my own addiction and my own grapple to stay sober. I thought about why I started smoking weed and all of the things that came along with it and thought about my friendships over the last three years. I've lost a lot of friends - and it wasn't really a loss, it was more so cleaning house. You can always tell your real friends when the chips are down. I've been high, broke, misunderstood and bitter, you can trust and believe, I know who my real friends are.
I dialed his number. And his voice, was the voice that I remember. It was him and I knew, right when he picked up the phone, he was getting his life together - just as I was. I almost cried. I was happy to have my friend back.
I was a little angry and I expressed that. I told him that I had been worried for a while and I'm glad that he was able to talk to me about some of what he went through. I understand him, just as I did when we first initiated our friendship 5 years ago.
He needed a friend and somewhere in his mind, he never forgot my loyalty. But I forgot mine, but not completely. I had to check myself. I couldn't call myself a friend and abandon him, when he was going through a rough time. That's not what friends do and that's not the kind of friend that I am. In order to have the kind of friends we want, we have to be that to ourselves first. And lord knows, especially over the last few months, some of my friends have come through for me just like family if not more.
After our brief talk a piece of my soul healed. My heart danced. The connection that we had, it never died. The truth is, I missed him and I was hurting, just as he was. I'm glad that i pushed myself aside, to be there, to let him know that he still had a friend. Sometimes that's all we need to make a difference.
When we hung up the phone today, I fell in love with him Again.